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Articles tagged Oil in the NW

July 25, 2014, 2 p.m.

Oregon Oil Train Safety Report Calls For More Rail Inspectors, Fees

A new statewide rail safety report identifies gaps in the resources Oregon needs to prevent and respond to an oil train derailment.

July 22, 2014, 2 p.m.

Crew Fatigue Persists As Oil By Rail Increases Risks

Fatigue remains a major cause of railroad accidents and incidents after decades of warnings. Safety advocates say oil by rail has raised the stakes for finding a solution.

July 11, 2014, noon

Sightline Institute Authors Report Questioning Tesoro's Track Record

It's been a bad week for Tesoro in the press. A KUOW investigation revealed that four years after a deadly blast at the company's plant in Anacortes, no one has been held accountable. Now, the Sightline Institute has issued a scathing report on Tesoro's practices.

July 9, 2014, 1 a.m.

Poll: Most Northwest Residents Support Oil Trains But Don't Know Much About The Issue

In a new DHM Research poll, 56 percent of Northwest residents said they support transportation of oil by rail to reach West Coast refineries, with the refined oil being used for domestic purposes.

July 3, 2014, 5:28 p.m.

3 Oil Trains Travel Through Oregon Each Week

Newly released documents show that three trains are hauling oil from North Dakota each week to a Columbia River shipping terminal in northwestern Oregon.

July 2, 2014, 6 a.m.

Rail Workers Raise Doubts About Safety Culture As Oil Trains Roll On

BNSF Railway now hauls nearly 20 trains per week of crude oil through the Pacific Northwest. Railroad workers and industry experts say that while railroads have gotten safer over the years, a culture remains that silences whistleblowers and prioritizes speed over safety.

June 24, 2014, 5:53 p.m.

More Than 15 Oil Trains Per Week Travel Through Washington

BNSF Railway moves 15 or more trains per week of crude oil through 10 different counties in Washington, according to railroad notifications made public Tuesday.

June 23, 2014, 11:04 a.m.

BNSF Won't Seek Injunction To Stop Release Of Oil Train Info In Washington

BNSF Railway says it's not going to court to block Washington state from releasing oil train notification information under its public records law.

June 11, 2014, 10:53 p.m.

Controversial Crude Oil And Coal Export Dock In Line For Oregon Subsidies

A review board recommends that the state of Oregon spend $4 millions to help expand a controversial crude oil and coal export dock at the Port of St. Helens near Clatskanie, Oregon.

June 11, 2014, 10:29 a.m.

Oregon Senators Ask Transportation Safety Board To Evaluate Emergency Order On Oil Trains

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are calling on the National Transportation Safety Board to review the sufficiency of the U.S. Department of Transportation's latest emergency order on oil trains.

June 10, 2014, 1:12 p.m.

Northwest States Tread Lightly With Oil Train Route Disclosures

The Northwest's two main freight rail operators are complying with a federal requirement to inform states about the North Dakota crude oil they're hauling -- but they want the states to keep the public from finding out by signing for non-disclosure agreements.

June 3, 2014, 4 a.m.

Vancouver City Council Votes 5-2 To Oppose Northwest's Largest Oil Terminal

The Vancouver City Council formally takes a stance in opposition to building the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail shipping facility. Tuesday's early-morning vote on a non-binding resolution follows six hours of citizen testimony.

May 22, 2014, 12:50 p.m.

Washington Study Measures Oil Spill Risks From Projects

A Washington state study says the potential risks of an oil spill could spike if three marine terminals are built, bringing increased vessel traffic to Puget Sound.

May 21, 2014, 12:11 p.m.

Oil Train Preparedness A Gap For Oregon's Hazmat Response

Reductions in Oregon's state hazardous materials teams have left a gap in Central Oregon, where there was previously little need for hazmat response. Now railroads are carrying more and more crude oil, a classified hazardous material, through the region.

May 19, 2014, 5:51 p.m.

Central Oregon Grapples With Rising Oil Train Safety Risks

A growing number of oil trains are now moving south along Oregon's Deschutes River, presenting a new risk for oil spills along one of Oregon’s most iconic rivers and new safety concerns for communities in the region.

May 16, 2014, 12:07 p.m.

Oil Trains Now Delivering Utah Crude to Portland

A fuel terminal along the Willamette River is now accepting train shipments of crude oil from Utah, making it Oregon’s second oil-by-rail destination, state officials confirmed Thursday.

May 8, 2014, 12:57 p.m.

DOT Requires Better Oil By Rail Notice, But Some Unknowns Remain for NW Responders

Northwest emergency responders soon will receive more information about how much Bakken crude oil is moving by rail through their communities.

May 5, 2014, 12:24 p.m.

Kitzhaber To Feds: Pick Up The Pace On Oil Train Safety

After the oil train derailment in Lynchburg, Virginia, last week, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation with a list of requests for improving oil train safety.

May 1, 2014, 10:26 a.m.

Wash. Port Releases New Lease Details For Oil-by-Rail Terminal

The Port of Vancouver on Wednesday released an updated version of its lease for the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail transfer terminal, featuring fewer censored details but maintaining redactions of key issues the port considers sensitive.

April 29, 2014, 4:47 p.m.

Oregon Leaders Question Oil Train Safety Officials At Briefing

At a briefing held Tuesday at Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's request, oil train safety officials answered questions about preparing for and responding to derailments and spills.

April 25, 2014, 8:13 a.m.

Residents Voice Fear And Concern Over Grays Harbor Oil Terminals

As more oil trains move through the region, residents of one small city in Washington tell regulators they're concerned about the potential for a spill or explosion that could devastate their community and create an environmental catastrophe.

April 22, 2014, 5:44 p.m.

Wash. Legislator: Oil Trains 'Going To Be With Us For A While'

Environmental regulators in Washington state are expecting a lively crowd Thursday in the coastal city of Hoquiam, where the public gets a chance to weigh in about increased crude oil train traffic.

April 17, 2014, 6:39 a.m.

Washington Congresswoman Airs Oil Terminal Concerns

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., visited Vancouver, Wash. this week and spoke against a proposed oil-by-rail terminal in the city, citing train safety concerns.

April 4, 2014, 5:19 p.m.

Urged To Support Oil Train Funding, Northwest Senator Seeks Answers

U.S. Sen Patty Murray, D-Wash., plans hearing on oil train safety while Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Maria Cantwell of Washington push for federal spending to speed up tank car retrofitting and increase rail inspections.

April 3, 2014, 9:07 a.m.

Greenhouse Gases, More To Be Weighed In Vancouver Oil Terminal Review

The Washington state board reviewing what would be the Northwest’s largest oil-by-rail terminal will undertake a sweeping analysis of the facility’s environmental effects — from the extraction of the oil to its ultimate consumption.

March 28, 2014, 4:05 p.m.

Oregon Regulators Issue $117,000 Fine For Oil Terminal's Permit Violation

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality imposes an unusually big fine against a crude oil terminal on the Columbia River that violated its air quality permit.

March 20, 2014, 8:45 a.m.

Vancouver City Council Comes Out Against Oil Terminal

A majority of the Vancouver City Council now publicly opposes plans to build the Northwest's largest oil-handling facility at the Port of Vancouver.

March 17, 2014, 2:35 p.m.

How Industry Specs And A Federal Loophole Allow Railroads to Avoid Response Planning Oversight

Federal law allows railroads using industry-standard tank cars to avoid filing comprehensive response plans, and state regulators don't have authority to do so either -- nor are they likely to get it.

March 4, 2014, 9:18 p.m.

With Or Without Terminal, Oil Trains Through Vancouver On The Rise

At a meeting between the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and BNSF Railway, the railroad explained its safety plans and explained why Vancouver is an attractive route for its trains carrying crude oil.

March 4, 2014, 4:53 p.m.

Port Of Portland: We'll Pass On Crude Oil By Rail ... For Now

Have you been wondering about the Port of Portland's position on oil by rail? If so, you're not alone. The port responded to inquiries today, saying it might consider the idea one day – but not today.

Feb. 27, 2014, 9:31 a.m.

Rail Cars Used To Ship Oil Called 'Unacceptable'

Rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

Feb. 25, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

Exploding Oil Trains Prompt More Stringent Safety Tests

Several fiery derailments prompt the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency order requiring crude oil from North Dakota and Montana to be tested before being transported by railroads.

Feb. 14, 2014, 4:15 p.m.

Crude Oil Terminal Planned In NW Portland

A national fuel storage company has leased a former asphalt plant on the Willamette River with plans to use it as a rail and marine terminal for crude oil.

Feb. 12, 2014, 2:08 p.m.

Navy Says Failed Pump Led To Oily Wastewater Spill In Puget Sound

The Navy blames a failed pump for its spill of 2,000 gallons of oily wastewater in Puget Sound's Hood Canal. Containing the spill is like "chasing a ghost," a spokesman said.

Feb. 5, 2014, 7:35 a.m.

Crude Oil Train Oversight Divides Washington Legislature

In Olympia, state lawmakers are going down divergent tracks in how to respond to the rapid increase of crude oil trains crossing the region.

Feb. 4, 2014, 7:21 a.m.

Spokane City Council Passes Oil Train Resolution

The Spokane City Council passed a resolution Monday night asking for more studies of oil trains and protections for the city.

Feb. 1, 2014, 1:16 p.m.

Oregon Governor Seeks Review Of Oil Train Safety

Oregon's governor is calling for a review of oil train safety. The move follows a push by Washington's governor to bring greater scrutiny to the increasing volume of oil being transported by train.

Jan. 31, 2014, 2:34 p.m.

Tesoro Refinery Blast Reflects Industry-Wide Problems

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Jan. 30, 2014, 7:43 a.m.

Federal Board Seeks More Oil Refinery Oversight After Wash. Blast

Federal officials are recommending tougher state and federal oversight of oil refineries after investigating a 2010 explosion and fire at a Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes that killed seven workers.

Jan. 28, 2014, 12:08 p.m.

Do 99.9977 Percent Of Crude Oil Rail Shipments Reach Their Destination Safely?

The figure often cited by the rail industry and proponents of oil by rail is not inaccurate, but there's more to the story.

Jan. 24, 2014, 4:32 p.m.

Wyden, Merkley Take Railroads To Task Over Oil Train Safety

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley call on railroad company executives to address mounting concerns about oil train safety along the Columbia River.

Jan. 16, 2014, 1:30 p.m.

Spill Plan For Columbia River Oil Terminal Lays Out Worst-Case Scenarios

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing the spill contingency plan for the export terminal handling crude oil north of Clatskanie and offering the public its first glimpse of the plan.

Jan. 15, 2014, 1:49 p.m.

WA Environmental Groups' Legislative Focus: Oil Trains

Environmental groups in Washington are outlining their legislative goals for this 60-day upcoming session. One major focus: oil train safety.

Jan. 13, 2014, 7:10 a.m.

Port Of Vancouver Gets Partial Win In Oil Lawsuit

A Clark County judge has given a partial victory to the Port of Vancouver in a lawsuit over a proposed oil terminal.

Jan. 10, 2014, 2:40 p.m.

How Many Rail Cars Carrying Hazardous Materials Get Inspected?

Only a small percentage of trains carrying hazardous materials are inspected as they move through Oregon and Washington. Safety advocates and legislators are more concerned about what federal regulations allow than the fewer than 1 percent of cars found with safety violations.

Jan. 9, 2014, 6:35 p.m.

Northwest Officials Receive Little Information On Oil-By-Rail Shipments

Northwesterners are paying attention to the fiery derailments hitting other parts of North America where the oil-by-rail boom is underway. State regulators here say they need more disclosure from railroad and oil companies to prepare for such oil-train mishaps.

Jan. 8, 2014, 8:24 a.m.

Oil Train Cars Rolling Through Town

Since fracking began in the Midwest in 2012, train cars filled with crude oil now roll right through the city of Pendleton to reach Portland. But the fiery images from three North American oil train derailments since July have sparked concern about the tank cars.

Jan. 2, 2014, 6 p.m.

Federal Agency Issues Safety Alert For Oil Trains

Just before New Years an oil train derailed and exploded in North Dakota. Now a federal agency has just issued a safety alert about the dangers of moving oil by train.

Dec. 19, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

Port Of Vancouver Oil Terminal Plan Gets 31,000 Comments

The state agency reviewing a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver piled up more than 31,000 comments before Wednesday's deadline passed.

Dec. 12, 2013, 8:12 a.m.

Opponents Dominate Spokane Oil Train Hearing

A proposal to ship North Dakota crude oil by train to Vancouver mostly drew opponents to a public hearing Wednesday night in Spokane.

Dec. 11, 2013, 9:49 a.m.

Vancouver Asks For Thorough Oil Study

Vancouver city officials presented a draft document outlining Vancouver's concerns about a proposed oil terminal. The city will send its concerns to the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council as part of the environmental review scoping process.

Nov. 19, 2013, 12:02 p.m.

Emergency Responders Prepare For Higher Risk Of Oil Spills In The Northwest

Northwest emergency responders gather for some verbal role-playing when it comes to an oil spill -- an increasing possibility under the region's many oil-by-rail proposals. **(Updated Nov. 20)**

Nov. 14, 2013, 12:27 p.m.

State Blocks Permits For 2 Grays Harbor Oil Terminals

A state regulatory board is blocking approval of permits for two crude oil shipping terminals in Grays Harbor, Wash., saying backers have failed to address public safety and environmental issues.

Nov. 12, 2013, 8:07 a.m.

Comment Period Extended For Vancouver Oil Terminal

The public has more time to comment on plans for an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

Nov. 8, 2013, 2:37 p.m.

U.S. Oil Glut Spurs Talk In Congress Of Oil Exports ... Did Someone Say Something About Trains?

Northwest refineries are already accepting oil by rail, more and more of it with each passing month, coming in from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. Now, as the U.S. faces a domestic glut of oil production, Congress is debating allowing more oil exports.

Oct. 29, 2013, 9:46 p.m.

Hundreds Attend First State Hearing On Vancouver Oil Terminal

About 300 people attended the first Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council hearing on the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal Tuesday.

Oct. 25, 2013, 3:33 p.m.

Public Scoping Meeting For Vancouver Port Oil Terminal

Washington agencies are holding two public meetings Monday and Tuesday on a controversial oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver.

Oct. 22, 2013, 3:17 p.m.

Port Of Vancouver Votes Again To Approve Controversial Oil Terminal Lease

The Port of Vancouver Commission re-voted to approve a lease for the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal Tuesday.

Oct. 18, 2013, 11:33 a.m.

Controversial Oil-By-Rail Terminal Back On The Table For Vancouver, Wash.

The Port Commission of Vancouver is holding a public meeting on Tuesday to reopen discussion on a controversial oil by rail terminal.

Sept. 30, 2013, 10:45 p.m.

Citizens Turn Out To Learn About Vancouver Oil Project

About a hundred people attended a community meeting on the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver Monday night.

Sept. 18, 2013, 7:26 a.m.

WA Auditor To Vet Vanouver Port's Oil Meeting

The Washington State Auditor's Office will examine the Port of Vancouver's decision to bar the public from a discussion of a controversial oil terminal as part of its next regular review of the port in April 2014.

Sept. 6, 2013, 4:41 p.m.

An Oil Terminal Hits The Shoals

Three of the Northwest's proposed coal export terminals have been dropped by investors. Now, a train-to-oil project reaches a similar fate.

Aug. 28, 2013, 8:45 a.m.

Shell Moving Ahead On Oil Train Project For Puget Sound Refinery

Representatives with Shell Oil will meet with officials from a county in Washington state to talk about expanding rail capacity to bring oil from North Dakota to the company's refinery on the shore of Puget Sound.

Aug. 12, 2013, 6 a.m.

65-Foot Oregon Fishing Vessel Grounded West Of Valdez

The Coast Guard says a 65-foot, Oregon-based fishing vessel has run aground four miles west of Valdez, Alaska.

Aug. 1, 2013, 7:43 a.m.

Lawsuit Says Dams Are Polluting Columbia And Snake Rivers

An environmental group has filed a lawsuit alleging that hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers are illegally polluting water.

July 29, 2013, 10:11 p.m.

Vancouver Oil Terminal Lease Would Allow Exports

The Port of Vancouver has released copies of the lease agreement Port commissioners approved last week for a controversial oil terminal. The document wasn’t available to the public until Monday.

July 27, 2013, 5:18 p.m.

Oil Terminal Fuels Vancouver Protest

Hundreds of people came to the waterfront in Vancouver, Wash., Saturday for a sun-baked demonstration against the fossil fuel industry, and its projects in the Northwest.

July 23, 2013, 11:25 a.m.

Port of Vancouver Approves Biggest Oil-Train Project In NW

The Port of Vancouver Commission voted unanimously today to approve a lease for a controversial oil terminal proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies.

July 19, 2013, 3:42 p.m.

SW Washington Port Set For Crude Oil Vote

The Port of Vancouver Commission is scheduled to hold a workshop and a vote on a controversial oil terminal lease this week. The workshop is scheduled for Monday night, and the vote is on the commission's agenda for Tuesday morning.

July 10, 2013, 11:48 a.m.

Vancouver Port Hesitating On Proposed Oil Train Terminal

A deadly Quebec oil-train explosion has given pause to Port of Vancouver commissioners in southwest Washington. They want to rethink their next move with a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships.

July 8, 2013, 5:39 p.m.

Canada's Oil Train Disaster Sparks Northwest Concern

The weekend's deadly oil-train derailment and explosion in the Canadian province of Quebec has raised concerns in the Pacific Northwest, where there are several proposals to increase the amount of oil transported into to the region by train.

July 1, 2013, 7:30 a.m.

Northwestern Washington Refineries Prep For North Dakota Crude Oil

More Washington state oil refineries are preparing to accept crude oil shipments from North Dakota.

June 28, 2013, 7:30 a.m.

Huge Rail-To-Ship Crude Oil Terminal Proposed For Vancouver, Wash.

Oil refiner Tesoro and a terminal operating company named Savage detailed plans Thursday for the biggest crude oil shipping terminal to be proposed in the Northwest.

May 8, 2013, 5:40 p.m.

How To Clean Up A Crude Oil Spill From Trains

Pacific Northwest refineries have been getting their crude oil for years from tankers and pipelines. Last September, trains began shipping crude oil into the region by rail.

April 22, 2013, 7:50 p.m.

SW Washington Port Announces Crude Oil Deal

The Port of Vancouver in southwest Washington could start handling crude oil from North Dakota under an agreement announced Monday.

Jan. 29, 2013, 12:10 p.m.

Hearing Set For Grays Harbor Oil Export Terminal

The Port of Grays Harbor is holding a public workshop Wednesday in Aberdeen on proposals for trains to deliver crude oil to an export terminal.

Sept. 27, 2012, 4:44 p.m.

Columbia River Spill Comes During Series Of Oil Spill Readiness Hearings

Just as Washington environmental regulators finish up a series of meetings on oil spill readiness, a half-mile sheen appeared on the Columbia River near Longview. Contractors quickly contained the diesel spill this week. It's one of about 1,800 spills in Oregon and Washington each year.

Aug. 15, 2012, 11:34 a.m.

Shell's Oil-Spill Barge Causes Small Spills Of Its Own In Bellingham

There are more problems for the oil-spill containment barge being built on the Bellingham, Wash, waterfront. Coast Guard officials say Shell Oil's Arctic Challenger has caused several small spills of its own in the past few weeks.

July 12, 2012, midnight

Davy Crockett Owner Pleads Guilty In Oil Spill

Bret A. Simpson pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two criminal violations of the Clean Water Act for spilling oil in the Columbia River.

July 11, 2012, 8:45 a.m.

Derelict Barge Could Soon See Demolition

The end is in sight for a derelict vessel that has been moored to a publicly owned dock for the past three months.

June 29, 2012, 1 a.m.

Oregon And Washington Governors Set To Fly Over Derelict Vessels

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire fly over the Columbia and Willamette rivers Friday to get a bird's eye view of the derelict and abandoned vessels languishing in those waters. **UPDATE (Friday p.m.):** Kitzhaber and Gregoire return from flyover with reaction.

Feb. 22, 2012, 1 a.m.

State Funding Not Available To Deal With Largest Derelict Vessels

We take a look at derelict and abandoned vessels in the waters of the Northwest -- and how states are coping with the environmental hazards associated with them.

Feb. 21, 2012, 1 a.m.

Costly Davy Crockett Oil Spill Could Have Been Prevented

The U.S. Coast Guard and its contractors spent 10 months and $22 million removing the Davy Crockett barge from the Columbia River in 2011. Workers prevented a major environmental disaster, but an EarthFix investigation has found that state and federal officials could have prevented an oil spill and the need for a multi-million-dollar cleanup.

Dec. 5, 2011, 1 a.m.

Puget Sound Petroleum Poses Harm To Fish

Every year more than 300 tons of petroleum ends up in Puget Sound. Much of it gets there in drips and drabs – from small spills or fuel leaks at the local marina to leaky tailpipes on city streets - and it's compromising the ability of fish to survive in the wild. Read part II of our Oil in the Northwest series.

Nov. 28, 2011, 1 a.m.

NW Readiness for Oil Spills Drops As Risks Increase

Every year, vessels carry more than [15 billion](http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/studies_reports/ecypspreview-dwhcommissionreport.html "") of gallons of oil and fuel through Pacific Northwest waters, putting Washington and Oregon at constant risk of spills that could cripple parts of their economies and devastate marine life and environmentally sensitive shorelines.

 
 
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