Earlier this month, Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation into law supporters say will help keep many shoreline railroad companies in business. Representative Mary Dye sponsored House Bill 1136, which alters the emergency planning requirements for lines that haul cooking oil, mint oil, French fry oil and other minority oils that are important to the ag economy.
To address concerns over oil spills involving Bakken Crude being shipped through the state, lawmakers passed spill response requirements for oil transported in Washington. But, the Pomeroy republican says that well-meaning legislation had unintended consequences, costing the short-lined community between $250,000 and $750,000 a year.
“It’s unnecessarily stringent regulations, they would have had to kept equipment rented in case of a spill they would have had to do major contingency planning and exercises to practice those spill recoveries, and you know, this is an industry that just does not spill the oil.”
Under the new law, Class III railroads that do not haul crude oil or refined petroleum products or are expent from certain clean up drills. Dye said while they may not have gotten every change they were looking for, this bill was a great example of working together.
“It showed that the process can work in a place where people have very strongly held opinions”
The new law goes into effect July 23rd.
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