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Greater Grays Harbor Inc Supports Crude by Rail

April 8, 2013

The board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. voted unanimously to support three proposed Crude by Rail projects at the Port of Grays Harbor. The organization cited years of incident-free marine bulk liquid storage and shipping at the Port, extensive regulations, and the prospect of hundreds of jobs created in the long and short term of the projects.

Board members were convinced to support the projects when told of the anticipated improvements to the railroad, particularly at the Olympic Gateway Mall area, which will not only improve existing impacts from rail traffic, but for the rail line for years to come.

Larry Kahl, board chair said “The current Crude by Rail proposal means new, family-wage jobs at companies that are proven to handle bulk liquid storage and shipping safely, and it creates an investment in our rail line that will create economic growth at our Port for decades into the future. It is a win for our community and economy.”

The board also addressed concerns that the projects could be detrimental to the environment.

“Rail, oil and maritime shipping are three of the most substantially regulated industries in the nation and in our state,” Mike O’Dell, Vice Chair said. “If we felt there was truly a conflict between this industry and tourism, or commercial fishing or shell fishing, we would not have supported Crude by Rail.”

The board noted that there are successful Crude by Rail shipping facilities at the Port of Tacoma and along the Columbia River. “This is not a new business model,” Kahl added.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Crude by Rail project is invited to attend a Business Forum Luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the Aberdeen Elks.

Representatives from Westway and Imperium will be on hand to present and answer questions. Reservations are mandatory, and are $15 for members who RSVP by April 19, $20 for non-members. Lunch is included.

Call 532-1924 for reservations.


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