Department of Ecology News Release - October 3, 2016

Review the draft environmental study for crude-by-rail project in Anacortes
Public can comment through Dec. 2, 2016

ANACORTES – Skagit County and the Washington Department of Ecology have studied the potential environmental impacts from Shell’s proposed crude-by-rail unloading facility in Anacortes and published a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review.

An EIS is a report on a proposal’s likely effects on the environment, reasonable alternatives, and measures that can offset, or mitigate, those effects. An EIS is not a permit. It neither supports nor opposes the project it evaluates.

Shell proposes to build and operate a crude oil unloading facility at its Anacortes refinery. The proposed project would include a new rail spur from an adjacent BNSF Railway line onto the Shell property. The facility would enable Shell to unload crude oil from as many as six unit trains per week, with up to 102 tank cars in each train.

The project would include equipment and facilities to pump oil from rail cars to existing tanks within the refinery, stormwater detention ponds, and safety and spill response measures.

The draft report includes studies of potential impacts to the natural and built environments. The county and Ecology conducted an in-depth analysis that was responsive to public comments received during last year’s scoping period, prior to starting the study. Topics include:

“We’ve worked hard to understand and disclose the potential impacts and risks from this proposed project. Now it’s the community’s turn to review and offer their perspective on our evaluation,” said Josh Baldi, Ecology’s northwest regional office director.

The draft EIS is available for review online and at reading room locations across the state through Dec. 2, 2016. The public can provide verbal testimony and written comments at three public hearings in November. Project staff will be in attendance to answer questions.

Public hearings

How to comment

After the comment period ends and comments are reviewed, Ecology and Skagit County will prepare a final Environmental Impact Statement – expected in 2017.

To request materials in alternate formats and find accommodations for limited English proficiency populations, visit www.shellraileis.com. To request ADA accommodation for disabilities, call Hannah Waterstrat at Ecology, 360-407-7668. Persons with impaired hearing may call Washington Relay Service at 711. Persons with speech disability may call TTY at 877-407-6097.

Contact:

Krista Kenner, Ecology communications, 360-715-5205, @ecynorth

Josh Baldi, Ecology Northwest Regional Manager, 425-649-7010

Dale Pernula, Skagit County Planning Director, 360-416-1328