Portland, Oregon – Leaders from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) served notice to the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal proposal today by moving to intervene in Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council proceedings. CRITFC cited the proposed terminal’s assortment of risks to critical salmon habitat and threats from oil trains to the Columbia River and tribal fishing communities.
“Today’s intervention reflects our commitment to protect the Columbia River and its resources and communities,” explained Paul Lumley, executive director for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The last thing the Columbia River and its communities need is a constant stream of dirty and dangerous trains and barges coming and going from the Tesoro-Savage terminal. The tribes will not sit idly by as this threat risks the hard-fought salmon recovery efforts the region has accomplished.”
For three decades, CRITFC and its member tribes: the Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce and Warm Springs, have been working toward sustainable fisheries throughout the region. The Tesoro-Savage project, individually and collectively with the multitude of other energy transportation proposals, will cause significant adverse effects to the river and its systems, including fish, wildlife, water quality, air quality and treaty-protected fisheries. Increasing the number of oil trains traveling along the Columbia River would increase the risk of derailments, potentially catastrophic explosions and rail crossing accidents to tribal communities living and fishing along the river.
The proposed Vancouver, Washington terminal would be the largest oil terminal in the Pacific Northwest. The facility would have the capacity to handle 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day and increase rail traffic by 36 oil trains per week.