An environmental group has blocked railroad tracks at Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail terminal in Northwest Portland, demanding “local and systemic action” against climate change.

Activists with the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion, including Ken Ward, left, watch over a protest garden planted near the tracks of Zenith Energy's oil-by-rail terminal in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Activists with the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion, including Ken Ward, left, watch over a protest garden planted near the tracks of Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail terminal in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Early Sunday morning the group, Extinction Rebellion, dumped a truckload of topsoil on the tracks near the Zenith-owned petroleum terminal at 5501 NW Front Avenue. The group also erected a tiny house on the site and has planted flowers, trees and a garden as part of its protest against what it calls a “governmental inability to act” in response to the company’s Portland expansion.

In a letter announcing the blockade sent to city council members and Mayor Ted Wheeler, Extinction Rebellion says it demands that Portland City Council rezone the area where the terminal is located to prevent the increased export of oil products.

A scarecrow watches over a protest garden near the tracks leading to Zenith Energy's oil-by-rail terminal in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

A scarecrow watches over a protest garden near the tracks leading to Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail terminal in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

OPB reported earlier this year that company has begun work to significantly expand its capacity to unload rail cars at its NW Portland facility. The expansion would allow the number of oil trains rolling along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to more than double.

The facility handles imports of heavy crude oil from Canada, which it then loads onto ships to be exported to overseas markets.