Olympia rides out rail blockade protests

Port of Olympia Climate justice coalition Olympia Stand have blocked the rail line used by the Port of Olympia as part of its anti-fracking demonstration,

Port of Olympia has said a rail blockade by an anti-fracking protest group is not impacting port operations.

Climate justice coalition Olympia Stand blocked the rail line used by the port as part of its demonstration, which began on 17 November, to prevent freight from arriving or departing the port.

However, the port, in Washington, US, confirmed that it has not been impacted by the protest and it does “not have any scheduled rail shipments in the near future.”

No port involvement

It said: “At this time the Port of Olympia is not involved”. However, it added that it supported any “law enforcement” taken in relation to the issue.

Activists are trying to disrupt rail shipments to a hydraulic fracturing business in North Dakota.

The port has been handling ceramic proppants since 2012, reported The Olympian.

Proppants are imported from China, then shipped by rail to the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.

Proppants, which look a bit like sand, are used to ‘prop up’ the soil so that drilling equipment can access the oil, stated The Olympian.

The railway is owned by Union Pacific, but freight is hauled by the Olympia & Belmore railroad.

The port’s 66-acre marine terminal consists of a complete breakbulk/container yard, US Customs bonded warehouse, on-dock rail and three deepwater berths.

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