The Shell Puget Sound Refinery (PSR) proposes to construct and operate a rail unloading facility at the Shell PSR facility on March Point near Anacortes, Washington in Skagit County. The proposed project (Shell Anacortes Rail Unloading Facility or Shell ARUF) includes building a rail spur from the existing adjacent Anacortes Subdivision onto the Shell PSR property to accommodate unit trains transporting Bakken crude oil from the mid-continent area. Oil spill release scenarios were developed to characterize the range of potential impacts from a number of environmental and oil spill release conditions.
RPS conducted a probability assessment that was conducted to quantify the probability of a crude-by-rail accident, the frequency of release, and the volume of oil that may enter the environment. Then, the potential consequences of a release of oil into the environment was determined using the OILMAPLand and SIMAP oil spill trajectory, fate, and effects models. The frequency and potential consequences of a release that resulted in a fire or explosion was completed. These results were then used to identify the potential economic consequences of an oil release, fire, or explosion.
Shell Puget Sound Refinery (PSR) Anacortes Rail Unloading Facility (ARUF)
Understanding the potential trajectory of crude oil within the environment and its ultimate fate was necessary to identify the potential impacts. Results were also required for use in inform planning and response efforts. Oil spill release scenarios were defined by release location, release volume, and environmental conditions. Under the direction of the co-lead agencies, relatively low probability, high-impact accidents (i.e., large volume releases) were modeled to better understand the maximum potential consequences of a more extreme event. These results provide the upper range of estimates of consequence in the unlikely event that there is a large volume release of oil.
RPS provided computational oil spill modeling, technical assistance, and served as a co-author on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which assessed the potential risks associated with shipments of crude-by-rail in Washington State.
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