“Today, legislators did the right thing and approved a much-needed bill to improve the oversight of crude oil being transported through Washington and our ability to prevent and respond to oil spills. This was one of my top priorities for this session and I particularly want to thank Rep. Jessyn Farrell for all her work over the past months to shepherd this bill through with bipartisan support.
“This bill means our first responders will get advanced notification when oil trains are coming through, and it also expands the barrel tax on crude oil and petroleum products to include both rail and marine. This means that at a time when the number of oil trains running through Washington is skyrocketing, oil companies will be held accountable for playing a part in preventing and responding to spills.
“There are things this bill does not do, however. It does not increase the barrel tax rate which means we will have to continue relying on other sources of funding that are already stretched thin. In addition, the final bill does not include provisions that would allow us to continue strengthening our marine response capabilities in Puget Sound.
“This is a solid first step, but clearly we have more work to do. And while our state does its part to bolster safe transport of crude oil by rail and boat, I urge Congress and the federal government to push for quick action on reduced speed limits and prohibition of outdated oil train cars.”