Railroad: Washington Worst-Case Oil Spill Could Cost $775 million

Railroad: Washington Worst-Case Oil Spill Could Cost $775 million
Oil tanker cars are shown Oct. 8, 2014 at BP Cherry Point Refinery's rail loop. (Bellingham Herald)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Bellingham Herald reports that even a railroad shipping explosive Bakken crude oil through the Columbia River Gorge and Pacific Northwest admits that cleaning up a worst-case oil spill would be astronomically expensive.

"For the first time, railroads hauling crude oil through Washington were required to report the estimated cleanup cost for a “reasonable, worst case” spill and provide insurance information and other financial assurance of their ability to cover the costs. However, the state can’t force federally regulated railroads to comply with the new rule...

"Railroads’ ability to pay cleanup costs has been in the spotlight since 2013, when a fiery derailment killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Quebec, and destroyed the downtown. The explosion caused more than $3 billion in damage. The short-line railroad hauling the crude oil filed for bankruptcy protection because it didn’t have enough insurance to pay the claims."

Read full article.

Learn more about why Friends of the Columbia Gorge opposes crude oil transport.


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