Three weeks have passed since the oil train derailment at Mosier, on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. The giant Baker tanks, used to store raw sewage, have been removed from downtown. In an audio posted to the town’s website, Mayor Arlene Burns proclaims that the city is once again open for business. But according to Kristen McNall, a volunteer with Mosier Fire, they are still dealing with the accident’s repercussions. Today a preliminary Federal Railway Administration report confirmed that a maintenance failure caused the Mosier derailment
Mosier’s sewer system was still turned off this morning. Some of the derailed oil cars still sit beside the tracks, where the town’s fifteen volunteer fire fighters fought to contain the fire throughout Friday and into the night. The town’s acquirers were depleted during the battle. Now Union Pacific wants to resume normal operations but, until they can explain the cause of the accident, Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic.
The flames have been put out and a tweet from the Washington’s Department of Ecology says the air quality is good. Four railway cars, carrying approximately 120,000 gallons of oil, ruptured in yesterday’s incident. No one knows how much oil spilled out, or made its’ way into the Columbia River. (As you can see in the photo above, there was a sheen on the Oregon shore this morning.) No one can flush their toilets, or drink the water, because the town’s sewer plant was directly affected. A local resident said Mosier was Lucky, no one was killed.
On June 1, 2016, the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California joined British Columbia’s Environment Minister and representatives from six West Coast cities, in the Borgia Room of San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel, to sign what history may show was a key milestone in the struggle to mount a concerted defence against the ravages of global temperature rise. The 2016 Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan has a strong emphasis on issues like ocean acidification; the integration of clean energy into the power grid; “support for efforts by the insurance industry and regulatory system to highlight the economic costs of climate change; and so-called “super pollutants” (also known as short-lived climate pollutants).” This sounds good, but do the Pacific Coast’s “Climate Leaders” mean business?