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Oregon House Passes Oil Train Safety Bill

The Oregon House of Representatives has passed a bill that would create new fees on oil train cars to pay for spill prevention and planning in the state.  The House passed the bill on a 55-3 vote, sending it to the state Senate for consideration.  Along with the fees, which would go to the state fire marshal and the state Department of Environmental Quality, the bill would require train operators to carry more insurance when operating the trains, to help pay for spill cleanup.  It would also require railroads that own or operate “high hazard train routes” to develop detailed safety and environmental response plans and demonstrate the ability to respond to and cover the cost of an oil spill.  The fees, which would go into effect this coming January 1, would raise about $1 million every two years before expiring in 2027.