Oil Trains In The Northwest

OPB’s coverage on the transportation of oil by rail in the Northwest.

Members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation introduced legislation Thursday to deal with oil train safety.

Reps. Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Earl Blumenauer introduced the “Community Protection and Preparedness Act.”

It would create a new fund for emergency response and clean up after accidents. The money would come from a $1,500 annual fee on each tank car that fails to meet new Department of Transportation standards.

The bill would also make companies inspect tracks on foot in “high consequence areas” near waterways, high populations and environmentally sensitive areas.

Last month, a Union Pacific train derailed near Mosier just after the track had been inspected by employees in vehicles.

Union Pacific has said it followed federal laws regarding inspections.

A preliminary investigation found broken lag bolts were the likely cause of the crash.