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Rail News: Safety
Washington state cites crude-by-rail safety measures

The Washington State Department of Ecology on Monday released the results of itsMarine and Rail Oil Transportation Study, which details the potential risks of oil transportation, as well as various ways to mitigate those risks.

Originally requested by the state Legislature in 2014, the study provides several recommendations, such as taking steps to enhance emergency response efforts, increasing rail inspections, and ensuring oil companies and transporters have the means to pay for spills.

“When I’m talking to people around the state, one issue people always ask me about is what we’re going to do to protect our state from the dangers of transporting crude oil,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in a press release. “Increasing numbers of oil trains are coming through Washington and this is our opportunity to take reasonable and necessary steps to improve public safety.”

Noting the spate of recent train accidents, Department of Ecology officials expressed urgency in finding and implementing ways to decrease the risks involved with transporting crude by rail.

“Given the recent collisions around the country and in Canada, we can’t afford to be complacent,” said Maia Bellon, the department’s director. “We also know of four separate incidents since December where oil trains were leaking as they traveled through Washington.”