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Quinault Indian Nation Opposes Crude by Rail

April 19, 2013

On Thursday, the Quinault Indian Nation submitted a letter to the City of Hoquiam and Washington Department of Ecology opposing the first of at least three proposed crude by rail facilities at the Port of Grays Harbor.

In the letter, they say “The Quinault Indian Nation has usual and accustomed fishing areas in Grays Harbor and the Chehalis River, and tribal members’ right to access currently-used fishing, hunting, and gathering sites will be impacted by increased vessel and rail traffic.”

Westway Terminal Company is seeking authorization for construction of a new oil shipping terminal in Grays Harbor. Westway predicts that it will bring at least ten million barrels of crude oil annually through Grays Harbor, via rail and marine vessels.

Two additional crude-by-rail facilities are also being proposed, posing major environmental risks to the community according to the Quinault Indian Nation.

“This project will bring more oil barge and ship traffic to Grays Harbor, risks of crude oil spills and harm to salmon, shellfish, and aquatic life, harm to our treaty rights and cultural historic sites, and increased rail traffic to communities from North Dakota to Hoquiam, said Tyson Johnston, 1st Councilman Quinault Indian Nation. “We cannot stand by and let this happen to our community.”

The letter was sent following the announcement by the City of Hoquiam and DOE that found the facility would not have significant impact on the environment after review of an environmental checklist.

The Port of Grays Harbor Commission approved for Grays Harbor Rail Terminal, LLC to move forward with their plans to develop property at Terminal 3.

The agreement will allow the company twenty-four months for further analysis and to obtain the permits.

Greater Grays Harbor Inc have invited anyone interested in learning more about the Crude by Rail project to attend a Business Forum Luncheon on Tuesday, April 23, at the Aberdeen Elks.

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

Call GGHI at 532-1924 for reservations.

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