Community News

shell railyard

Shell suffered a setback when a Superior Court judge rejected a lawsuit designed to prevent a full environment impact statement on Shell’s proposed new oil-by-rail unloading yard at the March Point refinery.

As a result of Thursday’s ruling by Superior Court judge Michael Rickert, the full EIS is expected to go ahead. Rickert said Shell’s lawsuit was premature because the scope of the EIS has not yet been set. “Thinking about railroad impacts is not the same as regulating railroad impacts,” Rickert said.

Skagit County, originally, had decided that the proposed rail yard posed no significant adverse environmental impact. But, as a result of public testimony, county hearing examiner Wick Dufford ruled that a full EIS was required.

That led to Shell’s lawsuit.

Shell’s proposal has drawn far more public criticism than Tesoro’s similar rail yard which has been operating for some time now, accepting 100-car so-called unit trains of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota.