The city of Vancouver is seeking an independent assessment of the region’s readiness for possible oil spills, explosions or other accidents that may result from the Northwest’s largest proposed oil-by-train terminal.
“We don’t have experience with this kind of crude or volume,” Deputy Fire Chief Dan Olson said.
Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies want to build an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver to handle as much as 380,000 barrels of crude a day. The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is weighing the proposal. The council will make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say.
If approved, the Tesoro-Savage terminal would receive as many as five full mile-long unit trains of crude a day. Recent fiery derailments in Quebec, Alabama, North Dakota and New Brunswick have raised concerns about the safety of transporting oil by rail.
“The biggest threat in hazmat is in transportation — when it’s moving,” said Battalion Chief Stephen Eldred, who oversees Vancouver Fire’s hazardous materials team.