BNSF says it won’t fight release of oil-train info

OLYMPIA — Snohomish County residents should get a better idea Tuesday about how often BNSF Railway is transporting large amounts of Bakken crude oil through the community.

A BNSF official said Monday that the company would not try to block release of information on Bakken shipments provided to the state under a new federal rule.

The company had until Monday to seek an injunction against disclosure of the document, which state officials have said is a public record.

“We think it is very important that those responsible for security and emergency planning have such information to ensure that proper planning and training are in place for public safety, but we also continue to urge discretion in the wider distribution of specific details,” said BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas.

State emergency management officials intend to post the information online Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation in May ordered railroads to provide states a “reasonable estimate” of the number of trains expected to travel through each county, each week. The rule applies to trains that each carry more than 1 million gallons of Bakken crude, which is equivalent to about 35 tank cars. Railroads are not required to provide the days and times of the shipments.

BNSF Railway, the dominant carrier north of Seattle and to points east, averages one-and-a-half to two trains loaded with Bakken going to “facilities in the Pacific Northwest in a 24-hour period,” Melonas has said. BNSF has not disclosed how much of that crude is transported in those shipments.

Tacoma Rail earlier informed the state it moves about three trains of Bakken crude oil in Pierce County each week. That report appeared online Monday.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

District takes steps to secure school campuses

Safety measures have been enhanced at Hawthorne and Silver Firs elementary schools in Everett.

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Hard work is paying off for Mariner High senior

Mey Ly has excelled in school since moving here from Cambodia; she also serves as an intrepreter.

1 arrested after SWAT team moves in on Marysville house

The incident was connected to an earlier robbery.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

County Council upholds ban on safe heroin injection sites

At Monday’s public hearing, more than 15 people spoke in support of the ban. No one spoke against it.

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

Most Read