The Latest: Oregon leaders want temporary stop to oil trains

AP News
Posted: Jun 06, 2016 5:08 PM
The Latest: Oregon leaders want temporary stop to oil trains

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

Several top Oregon leaders are calling for a temporary halt to oil train traffic in the Columbia River Gorge after Friday's fiery train wreck.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, Gov. Kate Brown and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici released a joint statement Monday afternoon.

They say Union Pacific Railroad should not resume oil train traffic until the company thoroughly explains the cause of the derailment and provides assurances that it's taking steps to prevent another one.

Union Pacific spokesman Justin Jacobs said Monday morning that freight traffic — though no crude oil — has been moving through the area since Sunday night after multiple parties determined the area and the new track is safe.

He says the railroad "will not run any crude oil trains through this area any time soon."


1:05 p.m.

A Washington state official says an unknown amount of oil has been discovered in a vault that feeds into a wastewater treatment plant for the town of Mosier, Oregon.

Department of Ecology response manager David Byers said Monday that sewer pipes near the railroad tracks were damaged after Friday's fiery train derailment. Oil leaked into a sewer main and flowed downhill to the vault, which discharges treated water into the Columbia River.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza says none of that oil appears to have gotten into the river. She says efforts to remove oil from the tankers still at the site stopped Monday morning so crews could focus on the oil in the vault.

Thirteen tank cars remain at the site. Ten of them still contain crude oil.


9 a.m.

Union Pacific has resumed train service through the Oregon city affected by last week's fiery derailment.

As a precaution, the trains passing through Mosier are limited to 10 miles per hour, much slower than the usual 30 mph.

The company restarted service despite objections from the Mosier City Council.

At an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon, the council approved a motion demanding that oil be removed from derailed cars before traffic is restarted. They also wanted a thorough investigation before the resumption of "high-risk" traffic.

No injuries were reported in the derailment in which 16 of 96 tank cars went off the tracks and started a fire in four of the cars.