A plan to make room for more oil trains in the Columbia River Gorge is moving closer to a decision.
The Wasco County Planning Commission heard testimony Tuesday on a proposal to build a second set of Union Pacific Railroad tracks along the Oregon side of the Columbia River.
The added tracks would run about four miles, passing through the city of Mosier. That’s where an oil train derailed last June, resulting in an explosion, fire, and contaminated groundwater.
Opponents held a rally in The Dalles prior to the planning commission hearing. That panel is expected to make a decision as early as next month.
Critics say increased movement of oil tank cars and other freight will raise risks for residents and the environment.
Union Pacific says the project will allow trains to pass one another more safely and reduce rail congestion.