Mosier mayor wants oil train moratorium

Union Pacific train derailed June 3, 2016

An oil train derailed near Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge, June 3, 2016 (Steven Erspamer)
An oil train derailed near Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge, June 3, 2016 (Steven Erspamer)

MOSIER, Ore. (KOIN) — Last Friday afternoon, 16 Union Pacific rail cars filled with oil derailed in Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge. Four caught on fire, thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled, smoke billowed into the sky, hundreds of people were evacuated, school was cancelled and drinking water was affected.

The rail cars have been hauled off, but the soil is contaminated and there is a growing cry for the trains to permanently leave.

Mosier Mayor Arlene Burns and other leaders call for an oil train moratorium through the Gorge, June 10, 20165 (KOIN)
Mosier Mayor Arlene Burns and other leaders call for an oil train moratorium through the Gorge, June 10, 20165 (KOIN)

Mosier Mayor Arlene Burns is among those calling for a moratorium and wants to block plans for a second track.

“On a state level we call for Governor Kate Brown, who’s been in support of Mosier, to not let any Oregon land, water resources, wetlands to be used in support of this transport of fossil fuels through our area,” Burns said Friday.

City council members from Vancouver and Spokane joined the mayors of Hood River and The Dalles to emphasize they won’t wait for Congress or the president to step in.

“The city of Vancouver on Monday is talking about an all-out ban on crude oil through Vancouver,” Council member Bart Hansen said.

Hansen said the public will get to weigh in and the city council could vote as soon as next month.

A public meeting with Union Pacific officials is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday in Mosier.

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