Gov. Jay Inslee is calling on federal regulators to issue an emergency order demanding railroads that haul Bakken crude send safety inspectors to physically walk the rail lines at least 24 hours before transporting the volatile oil.


Oil Trains In The Northwest

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

In a letter to the railroad administration’s chief, Sarah Feinberg, Inslee called current federal inspection standards “insufficient to protect our communities from the imminent threat of fires, spills, and collisions that result from oil train derailments.”

The federal rail administration requires two inspections per week for mainline track and allows mechanical inspections rather than physically walking the rail looking for defects.

“Railroads that move Bakken crude oil must increase the number, type and quality of inspections,” Inslee wrote in a letter dated July 7. “Train tracks should be inspected every day at a minimum, and tracks should be physically inspected at least 24-hours prior to oil transportation. Without these increased inspections, Bakken crude oil trains should not be allowed to travel through our communities.”

Read more at The Columbian