Despite the growing controversy over exploding oil trains and their obvious potential for disaster, the Army Corps of Engineers intends to rubber stamp the largest oil-by-rail terminal proposed in the US using a one-size-fits-all nationwide permit. This is unacceptable.
Let the Army Corps and our federal delegation know that the federal government should take a hard look at the impact of shipping explosive, dirty oil through the scenic Columbia Gorge from the largest oil-by-rail terminal proposed in the United States.
The State of Washington has begun its review of the terminal, prompting the cities of Vancouver, Washougal and Spokane to intervene in the process, along with the Longshore Workers Union Local 4, Columbia River tribes, and the company behind a proposed redevelopment of Vancouver's waterfront. With such an array of entities opposing or raising concerns about this project, surely the Corps should review this project’s impacts more thoroughly.
As things now stand, the Corps may authorize the project through a Nationwide Permit, a one-size-fits-all approach typically used for maintenance work. Instead, because the new oil terminal dramatically differs from a routine maintenance project, the Corps should require an individual Rivers & Harbors Act Section 10 Permit, which would allow the Corps to consider whether the proposed oil terminal is in the public interest. To issue this type of permit, the Corps would prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the potential safety and environmental consequences of shipping 360,000 barrels of oil daily down the Columbia River.
Let's say no. Let's stand up to big oil!