State Representative Rick Larsen is scheduled to attend a community meeting on oil transportation being organized by City Council members Liz Lovelett and Ryan Walters.
In addition to Larsen, panelists for the conference, set for 6-8 pm next Wednesday, May 6, will include representatives from the Shell refinery, Tesoro, BNSF, Department of Ecology, and the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management.
Lovelett expressed concern in a separate email to members of the community. "I know many of you have deep concerns about the safety of oil being transported by rail in our region. Others among you have concerns about how it relates to our local economy. It is a very complicated issue with many moving parts. In response to what I am hearing from both my constituents and other people in the county, I have organized a forum to answer some of the many questions you have. I want to keep this presentation focused on the prevention and response strategies we have available today. I hope you will come with great questions for the second half."
Mr. Larsen will speak about the pending federal regulation on crude by rail. Industry professionals from the local refineries and the rail line will discuss preventative safety measures, emergency response, and how our Mutual Aid Agreements work. The representatives from Department of Ecology and local Emergency Management will explain state and regional planning efforts.
This meeting will be moderated by Council Members Liz Lovelett and Ryan Walters. Written questions will be taken from the audience during the second half of the meeting. No oral testimony will be taken to allow our speakers time to convey the most information and to answer the most questions possible. We will collect written comments for any of the agencies or speakers.
The Council Chambers are located at City Hall, 904 6th Street in Anacortes.