WAWG expresses concern over transportation study

The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) joined with Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and the Washington Public Ports Association in a letter to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) regarding the transportation study on how to replace barging capabilities on the lower Snake River. The group contends the study fails to address the requirements laid out in the budget proviso passed by the Washington State Legislature.

The Legislature required the study to investigate 12 specific areas in the analysis of highway, road, and freight rail transportation needs, options, and impacts from shifting the movement of freight and goods that currently move by barge through the lower Snake River dams to highways, other roads, and rail. The requirements include carbon emission impacts of the mode shift, carbon cost estimates, and impacts on environmental justice and disadvantaged/underserved communities.

“… We were told that the study will strictly examine this very important issue through solely a transportation lens and will not consider factors like workforce or economics. We believe such a narrow focus is inconsistent with the requirements set forth by the Legislature,” the letter states.

The groups have requested clarification on how the scope of the study will be expanded to cover all of the areas required by the Legislature. 

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