City to host Safer Spokane Summit

Breean Beggs, City Council Member, 509.625.6254

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 9 a.m.

The City of Spokane invites the community to the Safer Spokane Summit tomorrow to discuss oil and coal train transportation through downtown Spokane.

The forum will feature commentary from more than a dozen representatives of local organizations and government officials on safety risks and potential solutions for local oil and coal traffic. Members of the public are encouraged to attend to learn more about the issues, engage with policymakers and share feedback. The Summit will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane 4340 W. Fort Wright Drive at 7 p.m.

“City residents have the right to safe drinking water and the opportunity to live and work without the fear of an oil train exploding in Downtown Spokane,” City Council Member Breean Beggs said. “Not only are oil and uncontained coal railway cars dangerous, they distribute coal dust and rocks on surrounding areas and also threaten the health of the Spokane River which supplies our drinking water. We invite Spokane residents to join us on June 29 to engage in the conversation and help us develop a solution to oil and coal traffic through our city.”

Speakers will include Beggs, Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department, Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins, Laura Ackerman of the Lands Council, Jerry White of the Spokane Riverkeeper, Mike LaScuola from the Spokane Regional Health District, Dave Kovak of Local 29 Spokane Firefighters Union, Dr. Gunnar Holmquist of Spokane Direct Action, Tom Soeldner from the Upper Columbia Rivergroup of the Sierra Club, and Dorothy Tibbetts of the Eastern Regional Office of Drinking Water.

The Gonzaga Law School Environmental Law Clinic will also be providing legal analysis.