SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane City Council officials approved a proposal Monday night that could decide if oil trains should be banned from passing through Spokane.
City Council members decided to send this proposal to get signature verification for next steps.
An average of 15 oil trains pass through the city each week. If the proposal is passed, it could be up to voters to decide if the dangers of those trains outweigh their benefits.
.@SpokaneCity will hear petition on Monday. Lawmakers can then...verify signatures... adopt & make law... or put it directly on Nov ballot— Ryan Simms (@KREMRyan) June 24, 2017
For the ballot measure, the idea is that oil trains would be declared as dangerous and hazardous. The trains would be banned from passing within 2,000 feet of schools, hospitals or the Spokane River.
This proposal seems to have some support already. 5,000 signatures were needed to put it on November's ballot and, so far, the petition has received almost double that.
The most recent derailment of an oil train in the Spokane area happened near Colfax in 2004. It spilled over 400 gallons of diesel from the engine and caused a massive cleanup.
According to the Department of Transportation, oil trains spilled more crude oil in 2014 than in any other year on record.