Washington state holds its first public meeting Tuesday about a proposed oil terminal in Vancouver.
If built, the Vancouver Energy Project would be the largest oil by rail terminal in the country, capable of moving 360,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
Hundreds of people are expected to comment to the state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC).
“The best possible outcome is EFSEC receiving a compelling case from the public about why they should turn down the Tesoro-Savage project,” said Dan Serres, conservation director for Columbia Riverkeeper, which opposes the Tesoro-Savage backed terminal.
“I think they’re going to get that,” Serres said.
He said EFSEC is scheduled to hear from business interests, environmental groups, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, fire fighters, and tribes.
“People from all over the region coming to tell them why they’ve come to the conclusion that oil trains are too risky,” Serres said. “The worst case, EFSEC turns a blind eye to the overwhelming opposition that Tesoro is facing, but we don’t expect that to happen.”
Supporters of the Vancouver Energy Project also say they’ll be there to speak and listen.
“We’ve talked to a number of folks who have a desire and want to come out and express their views and their opinions — many of those folks would prefer to do that in writing,” said Jared Larrabee, general manager of the proposed terminal.
“There probably won’t be a whole lot of new information that will come out from this,” Larrabee added. “It’ll be an opportunity for folks to express their views and to provide more information.”
The meeting is being held at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield.
Another is scheduled at the same location on Jan. 12 as well as a hearing on Jan. 14 in Spokane.