By Jerry Cornfield
A New York company has been awarded a $250,000 contract to help assess the risks to public safety and environment of transporting oil by rail and marine tanker in Washington.
The state Department of Ecology announced today it has hired Environmental Research Consulting of New York to work on the Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study authorized by lawmakers earlier this year.
The intent of the study is to identify gaps in existing policies and practices governing shipping of oil, and if so, recommend ways to fill the gaps.
“We received a number of bids from excellent organizations,” said Scott Ferguson, project manager for the ecology department. “ERC was selected for their years of experience providing environmental and oil spill analysis, reputation as a leader in the environmental field, and their in-depth knowledge of the issues we need to delve into to produce an informative, thorough study.”
Also involved in the study are Washington’s Department of Transportation, Utilities and Transportation Commission, Emergency Management Division of the Washington Military Department, the Federal Railroad Administration, and tribal governments.
Initial findings and recommendations are due to Gov. Jay Inslee and lawmakers by Oct. 1 with the final report due March 1, 2015.