Letters to the Editor

Oil trains: Local authorities must prepare for derailment

We’ve been reading recently about preparedness drills for events such as earthquakes in the South Sound or a shooter in Olympia. Preparation is good. Those events could happen.

What about preparations for an oil tanker train derailment in Pierce County? The recent derailment in Oregon of a train bound for Tacoma brings this close to home. This week we watched such a train rumble through Old Town while we were dining on the waterfront.

Is there an integrated response plan? May the public see it? Who would be the lead agency? What would be the roles of the various police elements, fire districts, city, county, tribal, military and federal governments? Who would control communication regarding hazards, evacuations and clean up? Who would sign off on the cleanup? Who has answers to these questions?

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