Quinault and Earthjustice Hope to Shine Light on Crude by Rail

Kristen Boyles, staff attorney with Earthjustice, said state law normally requires a full environmental review, but that is being circumvented because companies are transporting the oil by rail.

“Shipping oil by rail to a barge, then to take it to a refinery: the number of breakpoints in that system, as you can imagine, are large, and the risk of an oil spill increases as we do this kind of thing,” she stated .

Tribal councilman Johnston said that Earth Day, observed this week, is a good time to note that these concerns go beyond just his tribe and the state.

“You see the increase on crude oil being shipped on train lines throughout the United States, and everyone is aware of what happened in the Gulf Coast and what the indigenous people in that area have gone through trying to clean their environment,” he said.

Johnston said two more crude-oil terminals are also proposed for the Washington Pacific Coast port of Grays Harbor.