Oregon Public Broadcasting,
June 28, 2017-
For the second time since 2015, the Oregon Legislature has stripped language out of a bill that would have increased the state’s regulation of oil trains. Oregon has the weakest regulations among West Coast states. A year after a Union Pacific oil train derailed and caught fire in the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, lawmakers are advancing to the House and Senate floors House Bill 2131, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland.
The bill moves money toward oil train emergency preparations, particularly toward known gaps in Central Oregon. Smith Warner called the bill “a huge step in our ability to maintain safer routes and safer communities.” But it fails to give the state authority over railroads’ emergency plans, and adds layers of secrecy for railroad operations.