Rise in West Coast Oil Trains Spark Fears

By GOSIA WOZNIACKA | May 28, 2014

Residents along the Columbia River want regulators to reject plans for what would be the Pacific Northwest’s largest crude oil train terminal – the proposed destination for at least four oil trains a day, each more than a mile long.

The terminal in Vancouver, Washington is one of two dozen by-rail projects planned in California, Oregon and Washington.

Already, the West Coast is receiving unprecedented amounts of crude oil by rail shipments, mostly from North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada.

The increasing numbers of trains – and the potential for more – have raised concerns around the country after nine accidents in the past year, including one last month in Virginia.

Railroad companies say they work to prevent accidents through inspections and provide training to emergency responders.

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