BREAKING: Federal Railroad Admin “Not necessarily” concerned about safety of railroad tracks through Grays Harbor

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 4.25.48 PM

My fellow Harborites and elected officials. I received the following letter today from a lady who had viewed our earlier posting, SEE GRAIN SPILL VIDEO FROM TRAIN DERAILMENT NEAR MONTESANO STIL NOT CLEANED UP. In the video I show how after two weeks that the accident site is still not cleaned up and that tons of grain are now getting rained on and the water washing into Higgens Slew and down into the Chehalis River. I also relate that I am no expert, is it genetic modified grain? Can those chemical affect the eco system?

I think you will be shocked with what you are about to read and how it relates to the safety of the citizens of this harbor. It is clear…..crystal clear……that nobody is looking out for us.

Well, read below the exchange between this lady, I am with holding her name and address but will make it available to the editors of our local newspapers. This is way over my pay grade and follow up should be done by professionals.


NOTE: I received the following letter from Mr. Boyington wishing to correct a piece of the information sent to me  in the below letter.  Mr. Boyington was quite nice and indicated a willingness to make himself available for questions.  That should be noted…..Tom

“You misquoted me on one item in this e-mail, highlighted below. I did not say that the speed of oil trans would make the passage safer. In fact, we were discussing the grain train derailment. If you have any further questions feel free to contact our public affairs office at: 202 493 6024″


To: Randall Boyington, Investigative Inspector for the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration in Vancouver, WA.

Dear Mr Boyington,

This is to follow up on a voice mail message i just left on your voice mail at 360.921.2464. My concern is that a grain train which derailed near Montesano two weeks previous to 5/28/14 still has not been cleaned up, and that the overturned cars continue to lie strewn alongside the tracks with debris and actively leaking grain into wetlands and waterways including the Chehalis River, as of at least 5/28/2014, making this an environmental issue of concern. I am basing my information on the following journalist’s report:

Ms Katherine Shockey at the Regional office of the U.S. Dept of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration office in Vancouver WA gave me your contact information when she acknowledged that you do have oversight responsibility for cleanup and remediation of the derailments on the Genessee & Wyoming rails through Montesano and into Aberdeen.

You responded to my voice mail by phone & just called me back at about 3:00 PM today to say that the WA Department of Ecology is responsible if there is an environmental impact from the derailment: WA DOE has “oversight and jurisdiction.” You also said that the privately owned rails and the land they occupy are the private responsibility of the Railroad. You also said that your agency, the UD DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration has investigative responsibility and that “an inspector has been assigned.” Your agency “enforces safety standards which vary based on the class of the tracks and that tracks are classified as either I, II, or III.” You denied knowing the stated class of these tracks: “I’m not a track inspector.

I also discussed with you that oil trains from the Bakken fields are proposed to travel on these same tracks and asked if that concerns you too. “Not necessarily” was your reply. You stated also that speed limits for oil trains would make their passage safer…

My concern is that if nobody accepts responsibility to exercise due diligence around cleanup of train wrecks on this track already, then we are in deep trouble if and when the oil trains are allowed on these same tracks.


ED NOTE:  I am with holding name but forwarding to editors of our local newspapers and have done so this date.



2 thoughts on “BREAKING: Federal Railroad Admin “Not necessarily” concerned about safety of railroad tracks through Grays Harbor

  1. No one is responsible, and no one accepts liability (I have been told) if there is a disaster on the rails. Expect a big bite out of the public dime (if you survive the fire).

  2. I was at Higgins Slough on Wed. 4/28 to check on progress of rail repair and was shocked to see that the rails seemed to be in order but the tons of grain still lay on the ground, spilled in the wetlands. I took a number of pictures– grain all over the place. This concerns me as I live in the neighborhood. If DOE isn’t responding to a grain derailment and clean up, we are in serious trouble! I am calling Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, the DOE designated response plan organizer on Monday and I want to know why? and When? In the past she hasn’t had too many answers. As I stood with camera poised–it occured to me that it could be crude oil–what an idiotic situation. Buffoonery!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s