Companies: Don’t rush to judge Wash. oil terminal

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Top executives from the companies behind a proposed oil-transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver are not finding much local support.

Officials from Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies are in Vancouver this week to support for a $110 million facility capable of handling as much as 380,000 barrels of oil per day. The facility would transfer oil arriving by rail from North Dakota to ships that would take it to refineries.

The Columbian newspaper (http://is.gd/e3dPqz ) reports at least 30 people testified during Tuesday’s meeting of the Port’s board of commissioners, with almost all concerned about safety and environmental risks. The testimony came a week after a majority of Vancouver City Council members opposed the project.

Another key opponent is Barry Cain, developer of a $1.3 billion downtown waterfront revitalization project. He has said the development won’t go forward if the terminal is approved.

Savage Companies senior vice president Nathan Savage said in an interview with the newspaper that he hopes opponents will let the lengthy environmental review process play out over the coming months.

“I think there are those that have rushed to judgment prematurely,” he said.

The visiting Tesoro and Savage executives attended the commissioners meeting for the discussion of a new port study that found a low likelihood of a train derailment along a key segment of the port’s rail corridor.

Though the Tesoro-Savage facility would be the largest oil-handling terminal in the Northwest, company officials noted it wouldn’t bring an unfamiliar commodity to the area. The port and nearby railroads have been on the Columbia River for more than 100 years.

“Oil trains go by there today,” said Tesoro vice president of corporate affairs Brian Sullivan. “They’re going to go by there tomorrow, and in the foreseeable future.”

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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