Any plans to streamline crude oil exports through Grays Harbor are beginning to come off the rails, at a slow and safe speed.
The Aberdeen city council last night discussed the potential impacts of crude oil exports, but they did not take any action to make their voices heard in time for the first stage of two projects being developed in Hoquiam. Councilwoman Kathy Hoder said she may be shooting herself in the foot to take a stand but “I sure don’t want this to happen in my area. I want to work with the railroads, I’d like them to bring lots of things here, I’d like them not to bring this oil. I just don’t feel good about it.
Jerrod Figlar-Barnes is a self proclaimed environmentalist, he told the council “You’ve also got to realize that a spill in the harbor from any of these trains or the ships going through the harbor that are going to be carrying this crude on our bar – which is one of the most dangerous bars on the West coast. Not only would that adversely affect the environment, but it would also adversely affect the human jobs that are associated with all marine resources in the harbor.
After two derailments in his city limits in the past two weeks, Mayor Bill Simpson said this morning that “at this point I am against crude by rail, because of the safety factors,” adding that rail safety is a nationwide issue that the companies have to address.
The Aberdeen council’s next meeting will be the 28th, one day after the public comment period closes on the scoping phase of environmental impact statements being drafted for two proposed projects in Hoquiam.
The Hoquiam and Montesano city councils approved separate motions to draft a letter expressing concerns for submission to both the state and federal Departments of Ecology.