- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - More than 750 people turned out for a Thursday night public hearing in Olympia on the safety of oil train shipments through Washington. Most of the crowd was opposed to increased oil train traffic in the state.

About 200 people signed up to speak. The Seattle Times reports (https://is.gd/RruIFh ) the state Ecology Department listened to comments about the potential for spills that could foul tribal fisheries in the Columbia River, drinking water aquifers for Olympia and sensitive coastal waters near Bellingham.

Other speakers were concerned about the potential for exploding tank cars that could kill residents living near rail lines.

A Grays Harbor County commissioner, Frank Gordon, said he fears what an oil spill would do to the salmon runs in his area.

The Ecology Department is gathering public comment on the Oct. 1 draft of its study of the risks of shipping oil from North Dakota to refineries and ports in Washington. Nearly 3 billion gallons of crude oil will move through the state on trains this year. That volume could triple within five years.

Gov. Jay Inslee will use the final report to develop recommendations to the 2015 Legislature.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, https://www.seattletimes.com

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