Oil Train Traffic Concerns Washington Firefighters

October 30, 2014

Although Burlington Northern Santa Fe has improved the safety of oil trains, a Spokane Valley fire official says firefighters would be “extremely challenged” to respond to a significant event.

Deputy Chief Andy Hail told a state hearing Tuesday night in Spokane that firefighters need more training and equipment to prepare.

The Spokesman-Review reports about 200 people attended the hearing at a downtown Spokane hotel. The state Ecology Department plans another hearing on an oil train study Thursday in Olympia, starting at 5 p.m. at the Red Lion Inn.

The study looks at the impacts of shipping more oil from North Dakota to refineries and ports in Washington.

Spokane City Council member Mike Fagan urged state officials to strike a balance between safety and prosperity.

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