Effort to Stop Bakken Oil TrainsPermalink +
Sat, Oct 24, 2015, 1:26 pm // John Servais
Some Whatcom County environmental folks want to help our neighbors in Skagit County fight the expansion of rail traffic to the Shell refinery near Anacortes. Due to early action on the part of Skagit citizens, the huge refinery complex on March Point has been forced into an environmental review of its proposed rail yards. This is similar to the expansion that was allowed without any EIS at Whatcom County refineries.
On this coming Wednesday evening, Oct 28, at 7:30 p.m. group organizer, Claudia DeWees, will host a meeting and slideshow at the RE Sources community room on the corner of Broadway and Meridian. All are welcome. In the words of the group's notice, "Fact sheets and comment cards will be provided. You can make a comment on the spot. Public comments submitted during the scoping process will widen the investigation of this threat but there is not much time. The comment process ends Nov. 5th."
The Washington Department of Ecology is taking comments on the environmental review up to November 5.
The concern is not only the increased train traffic but also the destruction of the Padilla Bay area if one of these 110-car trains derails and either spills oil into the bay, or even worse, explodes as have other Bakken oil trains. The largest heron colony in Washington state is located 619 feet from the railroad tracks, on March Point. An explosion would wipe it out. There are also sensitive shellfish grounds in Padilla Bay which could be wiped out from even an oil spill. Shell plans to bring 5 or 6 trains a week over the Padilla Bay causeway and past the heron colony.
The oil industry, the railroad industry and the federal government have all shown themselves to be very slow at making safety improvements while very good at pointing the finger to each other and even their investors in railroad tank cars as being responsible for derailments, oil spills and explosions. Thus, the serious concern of citizens and the effort to push the Department of Ecology into either prohibiting the rail yard expansion or imposing serious and effective safeguards.
For the past several decades, most crude oil has not come by rail. With the development of the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through fracking, there is a push to bring this oil across the mountains and up the coast to Skagit and Whatcom county refineries.
Sat, Oct 24, 2015, 1:26 pm // John ServaisWhatcom group plans meeting workshop to submit comments to Washington Dept of Ecology against Skagit/Bakken oil trains.
6 comments; last on Oct 26, 2015
Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 4:04 pm // John ServaisOne part of the environmental study for the proposed Cherry Point mega coal terminal has been completed and released. It deals with ship collisions - they call it…
2 comments; last on Dec 22, 2014
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 2:13 pm // Guest writerSandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.
5 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014
Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 4:04 am // Guest writerGuest writer Sandy Robson breaks the story of officials from Washington treated to a coal-promoting junket to Wyoming.
2 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 8:01 pm // Guest writerIn the Weekly, Tim Johnson left out three words in quoting Craig Cole - and his story misleads readers. Guest article by Sandy Robson.
11 comments; last on Jul 01, 2014
Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 10:39 am // John ServaisWyoming Senators and coal honchos were in Whatcom County June 10 - to hold a news conference with select reporters.
7 comments; last on Jun 20, 2014
Sat, May 31, 2014, 11:39 pm // Guest writerA Venn diagram where coal, the Endangered Species Act, Republicans, and Wyoming’s Board of Education collide.
2 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014
Wed, May 28, 2014, 2:15 pm // Guest writerA perspective by guest writer Ellen Murphy reflects on the Whatcom Watch and the threatened law suit by Craig Cole.
22 comments; last on Jun 01, 2014
Wed, May 21, 2014, 11:10 pm // Guest writerWyoming is ready to try and legally force us to limit our environmental scoping for the Cherry Point coal terminal
4 comments; last on Jun 17, 2014
Fri, May 09, 2014, 5:10 am // Terry WechslerWhy Washington must step in and assume lead agency status in Skagit County for the Shell crude by rail proposal.
6 comments; last on Jun 21, 2014
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 12:59 pm // Terry WechslerA closer look at Whatcom County's industrial "stewards of the environment."
4 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014
Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 11:52 am // Terry WechslerWhy commenting on the EIS for Comp Plan revisions for Cherry Point means demanding an EIS in the first place.
5 comments; last on Jun 25, 2014
Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 9:51 am // Riley SweeneyRiley digs into an unusual hiring decision at the County Planning Dept
1 comments; last on Mar 10, 2014
Sun, Mar 02, 2014, 2:22 pm // John ServaisThe editor of the Whatcom Watch, Richard Jehn, has resigned effective today. Chalk up a victory for Craig Cole and Pacific International Terminals.
8 comments; last on Mar 05, 2014
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 8:29 pm // John ServaisThe full text of Craig Cole's threatening letter of libel against the Whatcom Watch. And the emptiness of the threat.
16 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 4:48 pm // John ServaisCraig Cole, the local contact for the proposed Cherry Point coal port has threatened the Whatcom Watch with a libel lawsuit.
6 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014
Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 5:40 am // Riley SweeneyRiley uncovers how the Coal Industry is funding conservative candidates in Whatcom County
11 comments; last on Oct 03, 2013
Thu, May 30, 2013, 11:01 pm // Guest writerJeffrey Margolis urges us to request the Nooksack South Fork Valley be included in the Coal Port environmental study.
3 comments; last on Jun 02, 2013
Sun, May 05, 2013, 2:45 pm // John ServaisHelp fund a scientific study looking for links between diesel locomotives, coal trains and unhealthy air.
Tue, Jan 22, 2013, 6:19 pm // Wendy HarrisLinks to a few noteworthy GPT scoping comments .
1 comments; last on Jan 23, 2013
Wed, Dec 19, 2012, 11:12 am // John ServaisA dramatic video of yet another mudslide near Everett - and what will be coming down on coal trains. Amtrak service to Bellingham is shut down.
4 comments; last on Dec 20, 2012
Sat, Dec 08, 2012, 1:43 pm // John ServaisA giant coal freighter went right through the long dock early Friday morning. Nothing in print edition of Herald
3 comments; last on Dec 11, 2012
Fri, Sep 21, 2012, 8:53 am // John ServaisBellingham Business Journal breaking story - Lummi's to hold meeting today at noon to speak against the Cherry Point project.
7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2012
Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 8:00 am // Riley SweeneyRiley sits down with Matt Petryni with Power Past Coal to get the latest scoop
Thu, Aug 09, 2012, 8:30 pm // Larry HorowitzQuestions raised by the Superior Court's barring of the Bellingham Community Bill of Rights initiative from being placed on the ballot.
21 comments; last on Aug 17, 2012
Sun, Jul 15, 2012, 12:54 am // Tip JohnsonWherein we see the Railroad walking it's walk while we get ready to talk our talk.
1 comments; last on Jul 16, 2012
Sun, Jan 15, 2012, 12:06 am // Wendy HarrisPlanning Commissioner Onkels should recuse himself from review of environmental impacts at GPT.
3 comments; last on Feb 08, 2012
Sun, Dec 04, 2011, 5:53 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the sooty prospect of economic necessity rears its ugly head
2 comments; last on Dec 05, 2011
Fri, Dec 02, 2011, 2:08 pm // Wendy HarrisPlanning Staff's recommended revision will not prevent SSA from reducing wetland buffers.
Tue, Nov 22, 2011, 10:29 pm // Wendy HarrisThe County's new mitigation proposal is unlikely to be adequate for Cherry Point's industrial impacts to habitat buffers
3 comments; last on Nov 24, 2011
Sat, Nov 19, 2011, 9:24 pm // Paul deArmondLooking at the numbers for the Bellingham elections
11 comments; last on Nov 22, 2011
Mon, Oct 31, 2011, 3:07 pm // Guest writerBob Ferris of Re-Sources takes a values based perspective on our community and a possible coal port.
9 comments; last on Nov 02, 2011
Thu, Sep 08, 2011, 9:37 am // Riley SweeneyLook at the title, it spells it out.
6 comments; last on Sep 12, 2011
Thu, Sep 01, 2011, 2:46 pm // John ServaisGeorge Black is comprehensive on the Powder River coal basin, BNSF, and the shipping of coal from Cherry Point and Longview.
6 comments; last on Sep 07, 2011
Fri, Jul 29, 2011, 10:11 am // John ServaisThe Gateway Pacific coal port appears to be under construction now - secretly and w/o permits.
36 comments; last on Aug 05, 2011
Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:42 am // Tip JohnsonWherein something smells a bit fishy
2 comments; last on Jul 29, 2011
Wed, Jun 08, 2011, 1:09 pm // John ServaisWho all is on the take? Who all has not been up front about being on the take for the Coal Port?
4 comments; last on Jun 12, 2011
Fri, Jun 03, 2011, 11:56 am // John ServaisA running update of links and info on the Coal Port and Trains of proposed Gateway Pacific at Cherry Point.
15 comments; last on Jun 29, 2011
Thu, Jun 02, 2011, 6:45 pm // John ServaisThe public meeting to hear opinions about the coal port last night saw local union leader Dave Warren playing games.
3 comments; last on Jun 05, 2011
Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 4:32 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Mark Flanders' call to action for June 1 flash mob at coal port meeting
7 comments; last on Jun 09, 2011
Mon, May 30, 2011, 10:40 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein blackened hearts and minds are initially examined
6 comments; last on Jun 02, 2011
Fri, Mar 25, 2011, 4:00 am // John ServaisCoal trains will probably pass Lynden on their way from Sumas to Cherry Point, after coming across on the Canadian rail roads.
16 comments; last on Aug 14, 2011
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