City of Everett to hold public meetings on increased rail traffic

Jump in volume of potentially hazardous materials being transported through our area cause for concern

By Andrew Gobin,

Increased rail traffic carries many issues with it. For local residents, the trains that pass through the Marysville Tulalip area cut the region in half, blocking Marysville residents’ east of the railway access to Interstate 5, creating major traffic jams which extend onto the freeway ramps west of the railway. With the major rail incidents of North Dakota and Quebec of last year, the fear of similar catastrophic events is high.

Rail transports traveling through the area carry coal, crude, and hazmat cargo, as they have for years. With the increase in rail traffic, the traffic issues will be magnified exponentially, and the risk of accidents skyrockets. With the proposed oil terminals in Grays Harbor and Vancouver Washington, and the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, rail traffic could increase to more than 30 trains a day from the 18 running currently.

Officials from Everett Fire Department and Everett Emergency Management will be presenting to the public on July 22 on the procedures of responding to incidents, as well as answering safety concerns. Public participation is encouraged as future strategies are being developed.

The meeting on July 22 will be held at the Everett Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave, in the Activity Room from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information contact Steven Liedlich at (425) 876-1633.