State agency urges panel to deny oil-terminal project in Vancouver, Wash.

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The state agency in charge of protecting millions of state land from wildfires is opposing a proposal to build an oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, citing risks of wildfires from increased train traffic and other issues.

The Department of Natural Resources urged the state energy panel to reject the project application. DNR says that based on the evidence, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council cannot meet its obligations to assure that there are enough safeguards to protect the public.

DNR made the comments in a brief filed ahead of hearings on the project, which begin Monday. The panel will hear testimony from numerous witnesses before making a recommendation to the governor.

Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., operating as Vancouver Energy, want to build a rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal along the Columbia River that can handle an average 360,000 barrels of crude per day.