Mosier, Oregon, on June 3
Mosier, Oregon, on June 3 ODOT

Just weeks after a section of a 96-car oil train derailed and exploded in Mosier, Union Pacific has confirmed oil trains will soon resume their path through the Columbia River Gorge. Oil trains through the gorge had been halted since the incident.

Like the Oregonian first reported earlier today, a Union Pacific spokesman told the Mercury that "We expect those operations to resume over the course of this week," because "federal common carrier obligation requires railroads to transport crude oil and other hazardous materials. If a customer delivers a crude oil tank car in conformity with U.S. Department of Transportation requirements, we are obligated to transport the rail car to its destination."

Here's the full statement from UP spokesman Justin E. Jacobs:

Union Pacific has a singular goal: to operate trains safely.

Some of the products Union Pacific transports are considered to be hazardous, including crude oil. Railroads provide the infrastructure, flexible networks and efficiency needed to move crude oil from locations where oil is recovered to customer facilities. Per federal regulation, we notify the state of Oregon that we transport crude oil trains. Crude is less than 1 percent of our total shipments through Oregon.

During our recent meetings with residents and elected officials, Union Pacific committed to notifying communities we serve along the Gorge when normal operations would resume. We expect those operations to resume over the course of this week. This includes transporting crude oil.

As we have stated during our in-person meetings, the federal common carrier obligation requires railroads to transport crude oil and other hazardous materials. If a customer delivers a crude oil tank car in conformity with U.S. Department of Transportation requirements, we are obligated to transport the rail car to its destination.

We reported last week the Oregon Department of Transportation said undetected broken bolts caused the Mosier derailments, and "in light of all the uncertainties, ODOT is joining a growing chorus of local leaders in asking the feds to stop oil trains from coming through the gorge—and anywhere else in the state with this type of track—at least for the time being."

Also see: "'Bomb Train Blowup: Push to Block Oil Trains Heats Up with Arrest of 21 Activists Last Week"