City Council drops controversial oil train measure from November - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Council drops controversial oil train measure from November ballot

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Back in July the Spokane City Council added a controversial measure fining oil and coal trains passing through town. On Monday night they decided to drop the measure from the November ballot.

By a vote of 5-2, the council removed the same measure they voted to put on the ballot just three weeks ago which would have fined potentially dangerous uncovered coal and oil train cars that traveled through the city. Council members were split on the decision, as were those who spoke during the open forum.

Council President Ben Stuckart said he had a change of heart after meeting with railroad representatives and looking into the legal issues including possible lawsuits down the line.

There was a question as to whether the city actually had the authority to impose fines on railroads which are federally and state regulated.

"I don't think it's a winnable issue," Stuckart said.

The city though isn't done. They will be looking into becoming part of a regional group looking to improve railroad safety.

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