Gov. Inslee calls for safety measures in response to oil train dangers
SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee says there is a urgent need to bolster preparedness and response efforts against oil train spills.
The governor says this requires action by the state and the federal government. This comes at the same time the Department of Ecology released a report containing recommendations, both legislative and budgetary, in dealing with oil trains and possible accidents.
Inslee wants to see more safety measures put in place for the transportation of Bakkan oil on rail lines in the state. Bakkan is a volatile form of crude being shipped in by rail from the Upper Midwest.
“Washington state needs to be better prepared to handle an oil train explosion or large-scale oil spills,” Inslee said.
He is calling for additional railroad inspectors and wants the aging DOT 111 rail cars replaced with newer and safer cars within a one-year period.
"Explosions from derailed pool trains have happened in other states as we know, including the deadly explosion last July in Quebec," Inslee said.
The explosion in Quebec killed 47 people in July 2013. Another train carrying oil derailed in Seattle in July. It was carrying 28,000 gallons of oil. No one was hurt and no oil spilled. Its these kind of incidents have state officials worried.
Another proposal by the governor is to put a 30 mph speed limit in place for trains using outdated cars that carry oil. The governor plans to bring his proposals to the Legislature in the near future.