More than 100 people gathered for a forum at the Elma Grange last week to learn more about crude oil shipping proposals for Grays Harbor. The proposals would build train-to-ship oil terminals in the community.
The Westway and Imperium terminals would be serviced by roughly two trains per day, each one a mile long. Their payloads of crude oil would bring more than 300 ships and barges to Grays Harbor each year year.
A third project, could draw three or four trains per week and up to 60 vessels per year, each 1,000 feet long. If all three terminals are built, Grays Harbor would have storage capacity for almost 3 million barrels of oil.
Three of Washingtons five oil refineries are now receiving oil by rail. The trains servicing the refineries travel along the Columbia River and then north through Seattle and along Puget Sound.
The majority of the people in attendance at the forum were opposed to the projects citing environmental concerns. The Quinault Indian Nation, a leading voice in opposition to the projects, has been filing court challenges and appeals of permits issued throughout the process. The discussions aren't over yet. The public has until May 27 to submit comments on the two proposed facilities.
A second public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Centralia High School in Centralia, Washington.
April 28, 2014, KMAS News