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Opinion
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
 

Letter: County must end railroad lease

By Ann Foster, president, Friends of Clark County,Battle Ground
Published: December 11, 2023, 6:00am

It is critical that Clark County should take the necessary and immediate steps to terminate the existing lease with the Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad, operated by Eric Temple, in order to hold PVJR accountable and to ensure that the county averts any further damage to our forest, wetlands, critical habitat, clean water, and established neighborhoods and communities.

Friends of Clark County cannot support the current lease with PVJR, as the county does not appear able to determine how that lease requires PVJR to actually comply with all state and local laws as set forth in the lease. The county is failing to engage in any oversight role of the railroad activities, much less taking any actual enforcement actions against Mr. Temple. Further, members of the county council voted to consider heavy industrial uses in the freight-rail dependent uses overlay area, creating an industrial wasteland along the 33-mile stretch of the railroad.

As a community, we must stand strong together in ensuring the county fulfills its obligation to protect our water, air, safety and the livability of Clark County for all of our citizens, as all of us will be impacted by these irresponsible actions.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter
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