Across America and Canada, oil train cars carrying crude oil have been exploding. In 2015, there has been an average of one accident every other month due to an increase in the amount of crude oil from shales across the Midwest and West being hydraulically-fracked and transported.
In one case, a train carrying crude oil exploded in the downtown of Lac-Megantic, Quebec at night, killing 47 people and totally destroying 4 city blocks of the downtown. Several other accidents have damaged property, waterways and the environment.
First responders in many Eastern Oregon aren’t prepared to deal with to an oil by rail accident. Like many across the country, our communities don’t have access to a foam truck to put out an oil blaze or crews trained to deal with the challenges of oil spills and burning crude.
Rail line communities are taking action. People living along the rail lines have organized to pass county and city resolutions calling for emergency preparedness plans, training for first responders, funding for safety equipment, increased regulation and for railroad companies to take responsibility for safe crude oil transportation.
Download video of Oil Trains between Baker City Old HWY 30:84E and Ontario
We have an opportunity to act to keep our communities safe. A Union Pacific rail line carrying oil trains passes through La Grande, Baker City, Pendleton, Ontario and others along I-84.