Protect the Feather River Canyon - Reroute trains carrying hazardous materials.
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Yesterday, July 25, 2018, was the fourth time in the past ten years that a train carrying hazardous material has derailed into the geologically unstable Feather River canyon. Around 3:00 am, a fallen rock created a puncture in a rail car spilling 200 gallons of diesel fuel into the canyon.
The north fork of the Feather River carves this canyon, delivering water to Reservoir Oroville, where it delivers nearly 3 million acre feet of water and accounts for roughly 13% of fresh surface water in the state. Contamination of these waters compromise clean and safe water for 25 million Californians downstream.
In 2016, the Butte County Board of Supervisors The Butte County Board of requested that the Department of Transportation conduct a study of alternate routes
for trains containing Bakken Crude and other highly hazardous materials to effect a change from the Feather River Canyon route in order to protect the State’s water supply.
Temporary solution recommendations include:
1. Enforce laws requiring railroads to notify Butte County Emergency Management before trains with cars containing Hazardous Materials come through the canyon.
2. Request that Union Pacific reduce the allowable number of cars traveling through the Feather River canyon which contain hazardous materials to 15 cars per trip.
3. Request that any car containing hazardous materials be carried by DOT 117 cars and halt the use of antiquated tankers. Maximum speed limit should be reduced.
4. Mandate that Union Pacific coordinate with Butte County Office of Emergency Management and Cal-Fire to provide adequate emergency response supplies
located so as to facilitate immediate response to release or threatened release.
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