Washougal City Council discusses potential oil train resolution

Draft measure to be presented Oct. 13

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The Washougal City Council is expected to consider a resolution, expressing concerns about the potential increase in rail traffic if an oil terminal is built at the Port of Vancouver.

During the Sept. 8 council workshop, Keith Brown, of Washougal, said an oil train derailment could cause a fire and have a devastating impact on the area.

He is hoping the council will request Gov. Jay Inslee stop the oil terminal from being built.

Teresa Robbins, of Washougal, said she is not against business, but she opposes the “continual glut of toxic, explosive materials through the gorge.”

Washougal has five, at-grade crossings.

John Wagoner, of Washougal, said an increase in trains would cause traffic problems. He mentioned Hathaway Elementary School is located near train tracks, and he wondered if the oil terminal would provide construction jobs for local residents.

Bill Ward, a Camas resident and Port of Camas-Washougal commissioner, said he was not necessarily speaking for the port at the council meeting.

“I am vehemently opposed to oil trains in the community,” he said.

Ward plans to introduce an oil train resolution at today’s port commission meeting, at 5 p.m.

City Councilman Dave Shoemaker said he wants to focus on safety issues, pertaining to oil trains.

“I’m not anti-oil or coal,” he said.

Councilman Paul Greenlee said the city’s primary water supply is located less than 150 feet from the rails.

While he would be concerned about the additional traffic caused by oil trains, “public health and safety trumps all,” he said.

A draft resolution will be brought before the council Monday, Oct. 13, at 5 p.m., at City Hall, 1701 “C” St., with a potential vote on Oct. 27.