Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
June 25, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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June 25, 2014

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6A Wednesday, June 25, 2014 Feather River Bulletin , 01L: Incidents involvin illed crude are on the rise from page 1A this year. The reasons for the accidents vary, but include track failure, inadequate rail car equipment and human error. Given that more oil is being carried by rail, and incidents involving oil are increasing, jurisdictions are responding. Report names Plumas In the just-released report "Oil by Rail Safety in California" a task force representing a host of state agencies studied the situation and singled out their areas of chief concern, general safety issues and remedies. "In California, trains transporting crude oil are expected to travel via the Feather River or Donner Pass to the Bay Area, the Tehachapi Pass to Bakersfield, or into Los Angeles. As a result, they will travel through some of the state's most densely populated areas, as well as some of the most sensitive ecological areas, since rail lines frequently operate near or over rivers and other sensitive waterways in the state," reads the report. It continues: "The high hazard areas for derailment are generally located with high natural resources vulnerability and nearby waterways (e.g. Dunsmuir, the Feather River Canyon)." In analyzing the risk in these high-hazard areas, the report focuses on the need to is provided. support first responders. One of Sipe's concerns'is "According to a recent the volatility of the Bakken analysis conducted by OES oil and that there is no (Office of Emergency, marking on the train car to Services), numerous local alert emergency responders. response offices lack "It comes in a crude (oil) adequate resources to container, but it behaves respond to oil by rail more like gasoline," he said. accidents. Many of these Since both types of oil will first responders are in rural be carried, Sipe said areas, such as Plumas, firefighters will have to take Siskiyou and Modoc a defensive approach when counties, where some of the they respond. highest-risk rail lines are Labeling containers is one and some of our most of the many safety pristine natural resources recommendations the state are located. Additionally, is asking the rail lines to many of these areas have implement. little or no funding for "If first responders can firefighters and rely on volunteer firefighters." County response Jerry Sipe, the county's OES director, has been working with railroad representatives and local fire departments. "We are trying to be proactive," Sipe said, adding that the threat of a spill is a very real possibility. "We've had some pretty large derailments," Sipe said, recalling one caused by falling rock as the train passed by. In areas prone to falling rocks wire mesh has been installed designed to stop the rocks and trigger :an alarm when a slide occurs. Sipe is working with Butte County to develop a joint plan for dealing with a Canyon derailment. And he is working with fire departments to ensure that the necessary training months for per mo. (reg. s24 per mo.) delivered to your #oor! HOME DELIVERY of the I New York Times Wall Street Journal [. Is ALSO AVAILABLE The Reno Gazette and Wall Street Journal are also available at one of these convenient newsstand locations: CLIO Sierra Energy Clio's Rivers Edge RV Park (Formally Dollard's) Reno Gazette-Journal Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal BLAIRSDEN EAST QUINCY The Village Baker One Stop Fuel Mini-Mart Reno Gazette-Journal Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal Sav Mor Foods (Racks) Little Bear RV Park Reno Gazette-Journal Reno GazetteLJournal Wall Street Journal GRAEAGLE Graeagle Store Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal Valero Fuel Mini-Mart Reno Gazette-Journal QUINCY 76 Fuel & Mini.Mart Reno Gazette-Journal Graeagle Restaurant Reno Gazette-Journal Chevron Fuel Mini-Mart Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal PORTOLA Leonard's Market Plumas Pines Center - Reno Gazette-Journal Safeway Wall Street Journal Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal To subscribe, email: or call I quickly identify an incident involving Bakken, or similar crude, from a safe distance by using visual information on the placard, decisions can be made on whether to attack the fire or spill, or take a more defensive posture and wait for additional resources," the state report reads. But in addition to the placards, there is also an issue with the tanks themselves. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a statement June 10 announcing new emergency actions to keep crude oil shipments safe. Included in that statement is a strong recommendation for "the use of tank cars with the highest level of integrity in their fleet when transporting Bakken crude oil." The DOT also issued an emergency order "requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions about the operation of these trains through their states." The National Transportation Safety Board issued its own findings on crude oil transport by rail and found that it was often incorrectly labeled and not transported with the level of protection required by a hazardous material. That report also found inadequacy in planning to avoid population areas and environmentally sensitive areas, and a need for response plans. The Clear Creek train trestle in the Feather River Canyon serves as the cover photo for the state's report on oil rail safety, which covers concerns for both urban and rural areas. The Canyon corridor is identified as one of two high-hazard areas. Railroad response Lena Kent, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe, said that the railroad doesn't share specific route information with the public for safety reasons, but added that "we have been transporting hazardous materials for many, many years and 99.9 percent arrive at their destination safely." She said that there currently are "only two trains per month in the entire state" that are carrying the Bakken oil. Union Pacific is not currently carrying the oil through this area. What's next The Cantaro Loop Spill, Supervisor Sherrie which involved a chemical Thrall, who represents the spill, killed all aquatic life Lake Almanor area, said in a 45-mile stretch of the some of her constituents Sacramento River including had shared their concerns 1.1 million fish. But the with her after they learned damage wasn't limited to of the dangers, the fish. Rail workers and Thrall said thai the first responders developed supervisors have not lasting health problems discussed the issue, but she linked to the toxic cloud has talked with Sipe about of gas that rose after the evacuation and containment derailment. plans. Sipe said the county Sipe said that after the will be as proactive as Cantaro Loop Spill near possible, but much of the Dunsmuir in 1991, the state work lies with the railroads implemented an emergency to make the transportation plan, and there is a Feather of the Bakken oil as safe River hazardous materials as possible. contingency plan. How Great Is It! On June 15, I was giving scenic flights at the annual Father's Day Fly-In at the Quincy airport when I developed engine power problems in my aircraft immediately after liftoff. That resulted in an emergency landing in a local rancher's pasture east of the airport .... Fortunately, there were no injuries and just minor damage to the airplane. We were able to tow the plane from the field through town and back to the airport. I would like to thank the many gracious, generous and concerned people who offered their time, equipment and support: ~ The California Highway Patrol helicopter crew, first to arrive on the scene and assure there were no injuries ~ Quincy Fire and Plumas District Hospital EMTs Brian, Rob and Jason Wood and Jake Sandlin from Quincy Tow - Brent Dingle, Tom Vaglivielo and Wilburn Construction. ~ Phil Bresciani ~ Plumas Co. Sheriff's Dept. ~ Malcom and Linda Muir ~ CHP officers McCallister, Lambert and Commander Joe Edwards for helping with traffic control And last, but not least: My passengers Shawn Stetler and his daughters Jennifer and Mariah for staying calm, cool and collected through it all. I owe you one! How great is it to live in such a wonderful community like Quincy. If I've missed anyone, my apologies .. Thanks so much Larry G. Parker, Meadow Valley Driveway Slurry Sealing Hot Melted Crack Filling Small Patch Work Free Estimate Serving Plumas County since 1993 3454 Hwy 70 Oroville, CA 95965 Lewis P. Beck Jn Lic. #669409 [ ] Representing Clients, Trustees and Beneficiaries for: Probate, Conservatorships, Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning. Also representing clients in Bankruptcy, DUI, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury and Business Law (530) 836-4625 6 Graeagle Village Center Check Out Our PL S WS.COM