On June 3, 2016, an event that community members had feared came to pass: A Union Pacific unit train carrying nearly three million gallons of oil derailed as it passed by the Oregon town of Mosier along the Columbia River Gorge. Of the 96 supposedly safer tanker cars on the train, 16 derailed, spilling 42,000 gallons of oil.
The volatile Bakken crude ignited, causing a fire that took 14 hours to extinguish and sending up a plume of smoke that could be seen for many miles around. But we were lucky – the wind was uncharacteristically calm so the fire didn’t spread and no one was hurt.
What if this accident had happened on a day when the wind was blowing? Or near a more densely-populated area like Portland? Did you know that oil trains are running through our neighborhoods throughout Portland now?
Zenith Energy in NW Portland is bringing in crude oil by train from the tar sands of Canada and the Bakken fields of North Dakota and loading it onto ocean-going ships. The Zenith facility stores these toxic materials in a sensitive earthquake zone.
In a matter of weeks, the City of Portland will make a critical decision that will impact the immediate health & safety of Portland’s residents and our climate. The City will decide whether Zenith’s facility in NW Portland is consistent with the City’s land use goals. The obvious answer: It’s NOT! It’s time we raise our voices against this dangerous facility, to ensure our communities don’t experience another potentially deadly accident like on June 3, 2016.
WHEN: Thursday June 3, 11:00am
WHERE: Thomas Cully Park, 5810 NE 72nd Ave.