SEATTLE (AP) — Citing new safety and environmental risks as more crude oil moves by train through Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday directed state agencies to evaluate the safety of oil transport in the state.
The governor's directive would effectively speed up the timeline for a study already being conducted by the Department of Ecology and other agencies, Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said.
Ecology is already leading a study to analyze safety and environmental impacts of oil transport, after receiving $300,000 from the Legislature earlier this year.
The directive asks Ecology and other agencies to look at the risk of accidents along rail lines, assess the relative risk of Bakken crude oil compared to other forms of crude oil, and begin developing oil-spill response plans for affected counties. Ecology will submit budget recommendations and initial findings by Oct. 1.
The governor's order re-emphasizes the issue, Ecology spokeswoman Lisa Copeland said. "Nothing in the directive is new for us," she said.
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