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NM town fighting oil firm’s shipment proposal

January 18, 2014 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Communities south of Santa Fe are meeting Saturday to discuss how to fight a proposed railway loading site for crude oil in Lamy.

The New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/1hxPtEm) residents say that Pacer Energy Marketing’s plan to transport crude oil from the Four Corners area could bring more truck traffic and a risk of train derailments.

The Oklahoma-based Pacer is proposing trucking the oil to a terminal owned by Santa Fe Southern Railway, where the oil would be transferred to rail cars and shipped to refineries south of Albuquerque. Pacer has already started doing improvements on the Lamy terminal.

Crude oil producers have turned to railroads more frequently for shipping as oil production climbs around the country. Pacer Energy gathers oil from about 600 wells in northwestern New Mexico, according to the company. Right now, it offloads the oil at a rail terminal in Thoreau. The Lamy property would be a backup terminal.

Hayden Ryan, Pacer’s director of business development, it takes three and a half tanker trucks to fill up one railroad tanker car and between six and eight trucks would drive through Lamy daily. Residents say the number of trucks and their weight on a two-lane county road are concern. The say the site is also close to the community’s water well.

Ryan said the company’s employees are well-trained to load and offload oil.

“The last thing we want is a spill,” Ryan said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration monitors safety and insurance records of oil transport companies. According to the agency’s online public records, 85 Pacer drivers logged more than 5 million miles hauling oil or equipment in 2012.

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