Safety a priority in terminal design, operations

By Vancouver Energy On June 28, 2016

Vancouver Energy’s witnesses on Day Two of the adjudicative proceedings described the proposed crude-oil-by-rail terminal’s operations and design, as well as its land use applications.

--Jared LarIMG_7415rabee, General Manager of Vancouver Energy, said the terminal will handle an maximum daily average of four unit trains a day. Those trains, each with up to 120 rail cars, will travel at 10 mph on Port of Vancouver property and then at 5 mph once the trains enter the terminal area, before stopping at the unloading facility, he said.

The Port of Vancouver sought proposals for the property where the terminal will be located, Larrabee said, and the location is ideal because of the Port’s investments in the West Vancouver Freight Access Project and the deepening of the Columbia River channel to increase vessel commerce.

--The terminal is in compliance with the City of Vancouver’s development regulations, land use plan and zoning ordinances, said Brian Carrico, senior project manager for BergerABAM, in his written and in-person testimony. He said EFSEC confirmed the project is consistent with the city’s land use plan, and in a 2013 draft staff report the City of Vancouver reported the project is “in compliance with the (city’s) development regulations.”

The site of the terminal is well suited for the project, Carrico added. There are a number of other facilities handling bulk petroleum products in the city, including the existing Tesoro facility at the Port of Vancouver and the NuStar Energy facility that includes multiple tanks for the storage and distribution of chemicals, refined fuels and other petroleum products. These facilities are closer to the Fruit Valley Neighborhood and Downtown Vancouver than the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal. No land use issues have been raised by the operation of either facility and they do not appear to have affected land use activity and development in the area.

--David Corpron, a senior project engineer for Savage who oversaw the design of Vancouver Energy, said the project has high design standards to protect the environment and keep people safe. The project, for instance, has safeguards through ground improvements, oil tank design and sensors to shut down the system in the case of a seismic event. The containment system at the terminal is designed with multiple layers of protection to keep oil off the ground, he said.