WA Gov. to decide on oil train controversy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WA Gov. to decide on oil train controversy

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  • Oil Trains & Coal Trains in Spokane

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Friday's oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon has brought the controversial topic of oil trains back in headlines. Oil trains are as long as a mile-and-a-half and they carry a lot of oil. One train can transport enough oil to make more than 1 million gallons of gasoline. That's enough to fill up your car each week – for the next 1,400 years.

They've been riding the rails through Washington since late 2012. Right now three oil trains come through Spokane every day, but a new proposal to open an oil terminal in Vancouver, WA could increase that number to 14 oil trains a day. The trains would come from the North Dakota oil fields, and Alberta Tar Sands.

There's a lot of concern about the plan, with many people arguing both sides of it. Critics say it's a disaster waiting to happen. The Department of Ecology is addressing those concerns, requiring all railroads to create oil spill plans that ensure first responders are aware of locations of oil transport, have oil response equipment, and are trained to respond in a rapid, aggressive, and well coordinated manner.

The final decision on the oil train terminal is in the hands of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who says he's waiting on a recommendation from the Washington State Energy Facility Evaluation Council before making a decision.

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