Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One citizen's opinion of the 4-11-14 Meeting between 2 Port officials and 11 citizens

One citizen's opinion of the 4-11-14 Meeting between 2 Port officials and 11 citizens:

I am immune to "spin" and "charm" offensives from elected officials.  The only thing that matters to me is what these officials actually  do.  That being said, there are a few positive things that came from this meeting.

1.  That the meeting occurred at all is a positive.  This kind of meeting had never happened before.
2.  The meeting was cordial, and  citizens were very frank in expressing their concerns.
3.  Citizens strongly reminded the Port officials that the Port does have the power necessary to stop Global's operations at Port Westward until Global complies with necessary DEQ permits.
4.  There was considerable conversation trying to define exactly what defines a "unit" train: they are single commodity (although sometimes they carry mixed commodities) and are between 90 and 110+ cars long.
5. Awareness of, and the risk to,  the natural environment was discussed 

Needs improvement:

1. The Port participants didn't provide answers to questions concerning Global's liability insurance.
2. They didn't respond positively to the suggestion that video cameras be used to monitor tanker trains to enhance safety and accurately count the numbers and types of tankers passing through the county.
3. Citizens didn't ask about our perception that the Port uses the Freedom of Information Act to obstruct citizen access to public records, imposing conditions that are too restrictive

Danner Christensen

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