The City of Cascade Locks has joined several other Gorge municipalities in opposing crude-by-rail through their city limits.
On Monday night, City Council voted 6-0, unanimously passing a resolution urging Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to “use powers of the state” to oppose oil trains, and asking federal officials to “halt” that transport, citing last Friday's fiery derailment in Mosier.
Councilors pointed out Cascade Locks’ downtown area rests along the train tracks, and highlighted safety and environmental concerns.
The resolution went on to ask for immediate implementation of new train speed and tanker safety standard rules, and called upon Union Pacific to carry out an environmental cleanup plan in case of a derailment in Cascade Locks.
City Administrator Gordon Zimmerman said the resolution was the first time Council had officially addressed the oil train issue.
Portland leaders are expected to weigh in on the oil train matter Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. at Portland City Hall.
An event organizer said in a news release that speakers will include Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland; Deborah Kafoury, Multnomah County Chair; Jim Appleton, Mosier Fire Chief; Paul Lumley, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission executive director, as well as several workforce and medical leaders.
Read Cascade Locks' full resolution below:
RESOLUTION NO. 1359
A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE CITY OF CASCADE LOCKS’ CONCERNS AND OPPOSITION TO RAIL TRANSPORTATION OF CRUDE OIL THROUGH THE CITY OF CASCADE LOCKS AND THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
WHEREAS, the City Council and Mayor are concerned about the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Cascade Locks;
WHEREAS, the City has determined that rail transport of crude oil is contrary to the health, safety and general welfare of citizens of Cascade Locks and the Columbia Gorge;
WHEREAS, the railroad tracks run in close proximity to the City’s downtown area, creating a potentially catastrophic hazard to the City in the event of derailment such as the June 3, 2016, derailment in the City of Mosier; and
WHEREAS, crude oil train derailment poses a significant hazard to the rivers and watersheds in and around the City.
THE COMMON COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF CASCADE LOCKS, HOOD RIVER COUNTY, OREGON, RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
- The City opposes rail transportation of crude oil through the City of Cascade Locks and the Columbia River Gorge.
- The City strongly urges the Governor of Oregon to use the powers of the state to oppose rail transport of crude oil rail through the Columbia River Gorge.
- The City strongly urges the Federal Government to halt rail transport of crude oil through the Columbia River Gorge.
- The City insists on the immediate implementation of safety regulations regarding train speeds and rail car designs.
- The City insists that Union Pacific submit an emergency environmental clean-up plan in case of a derailment affecting our community, local economy, watersheds and recreational areas; and the City further insists that all carriers of crude oil be fully insured against the risk of catastrophic fire and explosion, loss of life and property, environmental destruction and damage and any other harm connected with a derailment or accident; and
- This resolution is effective immediately upon adoption by the City Council.
ADOPTED by the City Council this 13th day of June, 2016 .
APPROVED by the Mayor this 13th day of June, 2016.