Washington's state governor signed a Thursday bill with new requirements for Bakken crude oil which is launched by rail, establishing a probable legal battle with North Dakota.
Gov. Jay Inslee legislative supporters say that it aims to reduce the risk of train train, but North Dakota officials say it is not supported by science.
The Washington bill requires refineries and other unloading facilities or loading crude oil from a railway car to meet lower pressure standards than what North Dakota requires. The standard would come into effect if the state increased rail traffic or built new facilities.
"As the federal government fails to exercise its full powers to ensure that oil is safely transported on the railway, Washington must be alert to our communities to protect the real threat of derailments," he said. "Inslee said Thursday.
North Dakota occupies about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day on refineries in Washington.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission has said the state would sue Washington's position over the bill, which the commissioners believe violates interstate commercial law.
The North Dakota conference delegation on Inslee insisted on vetoing the bill, calling it a “de facto ban” on raw-rail traffic from Bakken.
Inslee, who is looking for a Democratic nomination for a president, is the focus of his campaign on climate change. He also signed a bill this week which prohibits hydraulic breakdown in Washington.
North Dakota requires oil pressure not exceeding 13.7 pounds per square inch, added in 2015 which focused on reducing Bakken raw volatility.
Washington legislation requires crude oil to have a steam pressure limit of less than 9 pounds per square inch. Existing facilities extending crude oil volumes would have to comply with the new boundary within two years of expansion. Failure to meet the standard could result in fines of up to $ 2,500 per day per rail car.
The top oil regulator of North Dakota, Lynn Helms, says there is no scientific basis for the 9 border limit. Helms insisted on Washington law makers awaiting the results of ongoing studies of Sandia Laboratories.
Supporters of the legislation criticized the federal government for not accepting the quality of steam pressure around the country for crude oil sent by rail. Mr Andy Billig, D-Spokane, the main sponsor of the bill, said in a statement Thursday that the oil trains belong to a serious risk to communities.
“While we know there is more to be done to reduce the risk of a catastrophic event, this bill applies safeguards if we see an increase in oil train traffic traveling through our state,” Billig said.
.Leave a comment