The Elma City Council joined Elma Mayor David Osgood last week in sending a letter to the state Department of Ecology to request a scoping meeting on the potential crude oil export facilities be conducted in Elma.
A meeting was conducted on April 24 in Hoquiam and April 29 in Centralia. The current plan would look at all kinds of impacts that could occur involving the potential shipment of crude oil by railroad between Centralia and the facilities at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam.
A town hall meeting about the issue was hosted by the League of Women Voters in Elma on April 23. Although Ecology and Hoquiam city officials were present and spoke about the scoping process — the first step in figuring out how to do a larger Environmental Impact Statement — public comment was only accepted in written form. There were many people who wanted to speak about the projects, but those comments were not part of the official written record.
A letter issued by city officials in Elma notes that the trains will cut off the north and south sides of the city and there was “no practical way” to respond to emergencies if that were to happen.
Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay says residents don’t need to be present at the scoping meetings in order to comment — and state law only requires one scoping meeting. They are just doing two as a courtesy.
Shay said the scoping meeting in Hoquiam drew about 70 people.
Comments can be submitted online at https://public.commentworks.com/cwx/westwayimperiumcommentform or by mail at Westway and Imperium Renewables Expansion Projects, 710 Second Avenue, Suite 550, Seattle, WA 98104.
Public comment is accepted through May 27.