City of Vancouver Ends NuStar’s Oil-By-Rail Plans, Sends Clear Signal Against Oil Trains
March 23, 2017 (Vancouver, WA) — The City of Vancouver, Washington, issued a decision effectively terminating NuStar’s oil-by-rail proposal, which would have increased oil train traffic along the Columbia River. In 2015, NuStar challenged the City of Vancouver’s decision to require an environmental impact statement for the proposed 22,000 barrel-per-day oil terminal. The City, with help from hundreds of local residents who supported the City’s concerns about dangerous oil trains, prevailed over NuStar and was granted approval to conduct an environmental impact statement.
Since 2015, NuStar’s oil-by-rail proposal has made little progress. In 2016, NuStar sought approval to construct an ethanol terminal while the oil-by-rail project languished. Today’s decision by the City of Vancouver allows the ethanol terminal to proceed, but only if NuStar cancels its oil-by-rail proposal.
Because Vancouver passed a resolution in July 2016 banning oil terminals, neither NuStar nor any other company can propose a new oil-by-rail terminal in the city.
“Vancouver reaffirmed its strong opposition to oil-by-rail by requiring NuStar to withdraw its oil terminal application,” said Miles Johnson, Columbia Riverkeeper’s Clean Water Attorney. “Vancouver’s recent crude oil storage ban is actively protecting the community and the Columbia River; other Northwest communities and Governor Inslee should follow Vancouver’s leadership.”
The City of Vancouver is also actively opposing the much larger Tesoro-Savage oil-by-rail terminal proposed at the Port of Vancouver. Governor Inslee is expected to make the final decision on Tesoro-Savage’s oil terminal later in 2017.
“We are happy to see the City of Vancouver close the door on NuStar’s oil-by-rail proposal,” said Don Steinke, member of Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil & Coal Task Force. “This should be a reminder to Governor Inslee that the people of Vancouver and our City Council are opposed to any oil terminals here.”
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