Letter: Straight from the horse's mouth
After Ms. Nancy Whitney's call for the de-funding of our port commission and Mr. Charles Bickford's opinion that a railroad is just a "hazardous anachronism," and not an important mode of transportation that provides an economic development advantage to Columbia County, I decided to reach out to Mr. Doug Hayes, the executive director of the Port of Columbia County, for information on Global Partners LP and the importance of both river and rail traffic to the economic health of Columbia County.
This is just a fraction of the information Hayes provided to me:
¦ Global Partners' inspection safety record is at a 100 percent pass rate.
¦ Portland and Western Railroad limits the speed of oil unit trains to 10 mph throughout Columbia County.
¦ The Class 1 railroad for Global Partners, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, will only accept new-built DOT 117 cars on their lines. DOT 117 cars are designed for zero product loss from derailment at up to 9 mph.
¦ First responders countywide are notified within 24 hours of arrival of a unit train.
¦ Local tracks are inspected twice per week (twice the number required by law).
¦ The entire track is inspected within four hours of an oil unit train coming through and nothing can move on the rail l
ine until after the oil train goes by.
¦ Thirty-two total track inspections are made per month, 28 more than required. In comparison, the Union Pacific main line through the Columbia River Gorge requires only two inspections per week.
¦ The port currently limits Global Partners to 24 unit trains per month. The lease amendment will have no effect on the current rail traffic restrictions.
Want more objective verifiable information? Give Mr. Hayes a call! He encourages communication and fact-finding.