Bills aim to prevent or mitigate oil-train disasters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Seeking to prevent or at least mitigate an ecological disaster like an oil spill into the Columbia River, Native Americans, environmentalists and a fishing guide are speaking out in support of two bills being considered by Oregon lawmakers.

One bill would direct the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt oil-spill prevention and emergency-response planning requirements to railroads that own or operate high hazard train routes. The other would prohibit the Legislature from funding new bulk coal or oil terminals.

Since a train carrying oil derailed in the Columbia River Gorge last summer, causing a fire, concern about contamination of the Columbia River and other sites has grown.

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