Spokane voters reject proposal to fine oil trains

By

Published:

 

SPOKANE — Voters in Spokane have rejected a proposal to fine some coal and oil trains traveling through the city’s downtown core.

Proposition 2 was failing with only 41 percent of votes cast in favor of the measure, which was criticized as illegal.

Voters were asked to approve $261 fines for the owners of each rail car containing an uncovered coal shipment or oil that hadn’t been treated to reduce vapor pressure and flashpoint.

The Spokesman-Review says Union Pacific and BNSF Railway fought the proposal, arguing they didn’t have the ability under federal law to decide which commodities they would transport.

A coalition of local businesses and prominent politicians joined the fight against the proposition.

The Spokane Firefighters Union and a group called Safer Spokane supported the measure.