Oil Trains
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Oil Trains

Man-made, technological hazards can happen without warning and affect small to widespread areas. They are often unpredictable, causing property damage and/or loss of life. They can have significant, long-term impact on the physical and psychological environment of a school - or of an entire community.

Within this context, hundreds of tanker cars of Bakken crude oil travel across Washington state every week by rail. Based on recent counts, these trains pass within one mile or less of over 500 hundred school buildings. Potential oil train derailments pose a significant man-made hazard.

In planning for a potential derailment and fire, school district and building planning needs to address critical issues. These include adapting existing functional annexes, drills, and responses to the specifics of a rail disaster.

“Bakken oil” is the term used for a particularly volatile deep-shale crude oil from the Bakken Formation which underlies parts of North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Bakken oil is a naturally occurring mixture of aromatic hydrocarbons and small amounts of sulfur and nitrogen compounds. For a more complete description of Bakken oil see: Cenovus Light Crude Oil

Also see: light crude; sweet crude

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   Updated 6/13/2016

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