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Oregon passes measure to better prepare for oil spills

June 29, 2019

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon will tighten safety standards for railroads transporting large amounts of crude oil.

The Senate voted Saturday on a measure to require railroads to submit spill response plans to the Department of Environmental Quality. The move is a response a 2016 train derailment that spilled 42,000 gallons of oil and started a fire that took over 14 hours to put out.

The Union Pacific Railroad estimates that 18,000 gallons of oil contaminated the surrounding soil. An additional 13,000 gallons flowed into a nearby wastewater treatment plant.

Oregon for years has been the only state on the west coast not to pass meaningful legislation to prepare for derailment and spills.

The updated response plan now heads to the governor.

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