House passes bill to improve safety of oil movement in state
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The House has passed a bill aimed at improving safety as increasing numbers of oil trains move through the state.
The measure, which passed 60-38 Thursday night, requires advance notice of oil transfers, allows for the possibility of tug escorts for oil barges and requires railroads and others to show they can pay for oil spill cleanup.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jessyn Farrell of Seattle, is likely to meet resistance in the Senate. A competing bill sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale is awaiting a floor vote. The Senate bill doesn’t include a public disclosure requirement as the House bill does. It also addresses only oil movement by rail, not on waters.
Both bills would collect a barrel tax when oil comes to the state by train to pay for oil spill response. The House bill also extends the tax to pipelines.