Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Panel rejects Vancouver crude-by-rail terminal

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A proposal to build a crude-by-rail transload terminal at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., was unanimously rejected Tuesday by a state energy panel, the latest setback for energy-related rail development in the Pacific Northwest.

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which has been looking at the project since 2013, said developer Tesoro-Savage had not met their burden to show that the site was acceptable.

The panel’s recommendation now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee by Dec. 29, and he will make a final decision within 60 days.

The port is served by Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. The terminal would have loaded up to 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day onto ships bound for West Coast refineries.

The project poses a risk of oil spills, train accidents and longer emergency response times due to road traffic, according to an environmental study released last week.

The joint venture, Vancouver Energy, said in an email statement that the panel "has set an impossible standard for new energy facilities based on the risk of incidents that the Final Environmental Impact Statement characterizes as extremely unlikely."

The panel received more than 250,000 public comments on the proposal. Tribes, environmental groups and municipalities including the city of Vancouver had opposed the project





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