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Clark County Judge To Hear Arguements In Port's Public Meetings Case

July 24, 2015

A Clark County judge will hear arguments in a case Friday afternoon claiming the Port of Vancouver violated Washington’s public meeting laws.

The port has faced criticism over land it leased for what could be the nation’s largest oil by rail terminal. Critics of the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal say the Port of Vancouver violated public meeting laws.

But during an interview with OPB’s Think Out Loud, Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe defended the board’s use of executive sessions.

“We very much value the open public meetings act. We believe in transparency," he said. "There are certain times when you can use the executive session if you have sensitive material, such as pricing, on a project or litigation, or personal matters. And we hold religiously to those concepts," said Wolfe.

Wolfe also said if he lived near a rail line, he’d be worried about increased traffic from oil trains.

“If I had a house right on the rail, I’d be a little concerned,” he said.

It’s not clear when the judge will issue a ruling after Friday's court hearing.

The proposed oil terminal has set off a competitive race for an open seat on the commission.

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Near a dock at the Port of Vancouver where crude from the proposed oil terminal would be loaded onto ships.

Conrad Wilson