Friday, November 8, 2013

Letter I wrote to Rep. Brad Witt and his response. He must not have seen the news about the train wrecks in Alabama, Quebec and Gainford, Alberta.
(In all fairness Alabama hadn't happened yet)

Tracy Prescott MacGregor
Oct 27 (12 days ago)
to Rep.BradWitt
Dear Mr. Witt,

My husband and I have a farm not far from the proposed Port Westward rezoning. We oppose it vehemently. The Port Of St. Helens has failed to establish that that an "energy" hub including coal and oil would be monitored well enough to allow farming to continue unharmed, not to mention the devastation of 2 miles of riparian wildlife habitat along our beloved Columbia River. The expanded traffic would destroy small towns and businesses all along the proposed route. 

Many of us who are in opposition to the rezoning and development of an industrial terminal at Port Westward were disappointed that you did not attend the hearing on October 3, 2013 at Clatskanie Middle/High School. We would have liked for you to hear our thoughts and perhaps taken some of our concerns into consideration. 

There were many issues brought up that need adequate addressing before, if ever, the opponents feel comfortable with the rezoning plan.

Fortunately the testimony was videotaped. Please take a moment to view the following testimony by local farmer Scott MacGregor.

There will be more testimony to come as it becomes available.

Thank you for your kind attention to this issue.

Rep Witt
3:29 PM (21 hours ago)
to me
Dear Tracy,

The rezoning of Port Westward is not about coal and there is no reason to assume that the shipment of Bakken crude would disallow farming or harm the adjacent riparian zone.

I did not attend the 10/3/13 hearing because I had to work my regular job that night.  Please know, however that my staff was in attendance and briefed me fully.  Please know too that I am no more of a decision maker in this process than you are.  The decisions pertinent to the rezoning will be made by the County Commissioners.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns and appreciate your taking the time to share them with me.

Best regards,

Brad Witt
State Representative


Tracy Prescott MacGregor 
10:18 AM (0 minutes ago)
to Rep
Dear Mr. Witt,

Thank you very much for responding to my letter. I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue and I am grateful that you are open to a dialog.

I am VERY aware that you are not a decision maker on the re-zoning of Port Westward. What I am disturbed by is your and Senator Johnson's apparent wholesale support of the re-zone without consideration of the impact the fossil fuel terminal will have on local farmers and folks along the proposed rail lines. I'm not just talking about rail traffic either. Please note that in the last few years three enormous train wrecks and leaks have occurred along rail roads carrying Bakken crude. Forty seven people were killed in one of the accidents in Quebec. 

These rail tanks were not built for carrying the crude and the rail industry believes it is too expensive to rebuild them. At least five times since 1991, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has raised concerns about the car’s design, including its relatively thin metal skin and the possibility that cars could tear holes in each other during accidents, creating a domino effect of spills.

The minute you can assure me that this re-zoning is a good idea and SAFE for the communities along the rail lines carrying the crude and the barges are fool-proof traversing the Columbia River I will join you in support of this project.

Attached please find several articles from several neutral news sources.

If you have studies and information to the contrary please share it with me. Show me that this kind of thing will NEVER happen at Port Westward or the rail lines and barges from North Dakota to the West Coast of the country.

In the meantime your public enthusiasm for the re-zone and related projects appear short-sighted and without consideration of the potential negative impacts.

No comments:

Post a Comment