Friends of Rocky Prairie
Presently, the City of Olympia has
a strict ordinance in place regulating the transport of specific
hazardous materials, some
of which are not allowed in the Olympia
Port. Unless we adopt our own local
ordinance regulating these materials, many
could end up at the South Sound Logistics Center (SSLC).
The Nine Classes of Hazardous
1 - Explosives
Class 2 - Compressed Gasses
Class 3 - Flammable Liquids
Class 4 - Flammable Solids
Class 5 - Oxidizers
Class 6 - Poisons
Class 7 - Radioactive Materials
Class 8 - Corrosive Liquids
Class 9 - Miscellaneous.
* There are hundreds of substances in
each category, and containers stored at the proposed SSLC could have residue
on them, or could leak, especially if they sat for an extended period of time.
Train transport of hazardous
materials vs. trucks:
The following is taken from The Subcommittee on
Railroads, Hearing on Current Issues In Rail Transportation of Hazardous
Materials, July 26, 2006.
The Routing Requirements for Rail Hazmat Shipments: The Hazardous
Materials Transportation Act regulatory structure was revised in 1991.
Congress adopted an elaborate procedure for state and local governmental
participation in regulating the routing of hazardous materials shipped by
truck. [USC 5112] There is no comparable federal authority concerning routing
of rail hazmat traffic. Nevertheless, there are a number of pending disputes,
notably the current litigation between CSX Railroad and the District of
Columbia, over local attempts to require the re-routing of rail hazmat
shipments. A number of federal legislative proposals have also been introduced
to ban the routing or parking of hazmat trains in urban areas.
Please review the Agreement,
below, between the Port of Olympia and the City of Olympia, regarding
transportation of hazardous substances within the City’s jurisdiction. The
Ordinance was created, in part, to regulate shipments of dangerous materials
coming into or through Olympia via the Port, be it road or rail.
There are clearly many dangers that the Port has not taken into consideration.
This document may provide a template for our community to develop a similar
Ordinance to be applied to the South Sound Logistics Center local and regional
• It is clear that
the highest level of professional training would be necessary for local and
regional first responders, fire and emergency, to deal with matters of security
and hazardous substances; it would require extensive funds for specialty
supplies and gear, intensive training programs, community preparedness,
additional personnel and administrative oversight, if it were done to the
fullest extent of public safety in mind – as it should be.
The article below gives an idea of
some of the substances that could be stored or transported to the SSLC from
ships: The very real possibility of leaks, as well as, accountability issues
pertaining to shipment contents.
July 25, 2003
Waterway spill mostly a scare
Container-ship leak in Tacoma sends 7 people briefly to hospital
By JEFFREY M. BARKER
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
TACOMA -- On its maiden voyage,
the container ship touted as the largest in the world docked at the Port of
Tacoma about 6 a.m. Thursday.
Soon after, the vessel and the
Maersk Sealand terminal were cleared, the Sitcum Waterway was shut down by the
Coast Guard, and news crews trained their camera lenses on Commencement Bay.
leak aboard the 1,154-foot Axel Maersk had sent seven people suffering from
nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems and rapid heartbeats to area hospitals.
ship's captain reported
that the chemical could be sodium cyanide, triggering a rapid response from a
Tacoma Fire Department hazardous-materials crew.
But by early afternoon, the
hazardous-materials crew determined that the ship was safe, and the injured --
five of the ship's crew members and two longshore workers -- were released
The chemical leak was contained
to the vessel and did not affect the waterway, said Chris Gleason, a
spokeswoman for the Tacoma Fire Department.
ships carry everything from VCRs and produce to clothing and chemicals. The
Axel Maersk, which can carry nearly 7,000 of the standard 20-foot-long
containers -- those metal boxes that line either side of state Route 99
through Sodo -- was on its way to Japan. It had come from Los Angeles,
according to Tom Boyd, Maersk's director of corporate communications.
More than 50 containers
currently aboard the ship carry hazardous chemicals, Boyd said. The cargo must
be stored in specific areas on the ship and requires additional documentation,
"Everything shows these
containers were in compliance," Boyd said. He would not say who owns the
cargo, which originated in Los Angeles and was headed toward Asia.
It was just before 8:30 a.m. when workers about the Axel Maersk
vapor coming from a container.
Hazardous-materials authorities were quickly on the scene and determined that
the substance could not be sodium cyanide because that chemical does not
evaporate, Gleason said.
Using the ship's manifest,
investigators guessed that it might be aminoethylpiperazine, a corrosive
chemical used in the manufacture of asphalt additives, corrosion inhibitors
and epoxy curing agents, according to the Dow Chemical Co.'s Web site.
• The containers they are
referring to in this article are the TEUs (Twenty-foot
Equivalent Units) that would be shipped by rail in and out of a SSLC facility.
See picture at top of page.