Planning and Development Services

Global Menu

Planning and Development Services

Director: Dale Pernula
Shell Oil Products Proposed Crude by Rail Unloading Facility

Washington State Department of Ecology Project Information

Shoreline Variance/ Substantial Development Permit

Shell Puget Sound Refinery (PSR) proposes to build a rail spur from the existing adjacent Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) mainline onto Shell PSR property with equipment to pump oil from rail cars into the refinery. The crude brought in by rail would replace some supply currently brought in by ship and would serve to maintain current production, not increase capacity.

The property has a Skagit County Comprehensive Plan designation of Anacortes - Urban Development. It is located within the Anacortes Urban Growth Area and is identified as a Heavy Manufacturing District under the Anacortes Municipal Code. The proposal is a permitted use under Anacortes Municipal Code 17.15.020. The Skagit County shoreline designation is Rural.

Shell PSR anticipates that it would receive approximately one unit train per day. Each unit train would include approximately four locomotives, and approximately 102 oil tank rail cars containing crude oil. The facility is being designed to receive a maximum of six unit trains per week, for a total of approximately 612 incoming fully loaded oil cars and 612 outgoing empty tank cars on a weekly basis.

The project scope generally includes the following components:
- Arrival/departure rail track
- Unloading area with two tracks and a concrete containment pad
- Bad order railcar tracks with repair facilities, personnel operations building and appurtenant facilities and limited parking
- Perimeter inspection/security road
- Pumps and below- and above-ground pipelines to connect the proposed project to the existing storage tanks
- New road connections
- Relocation of segments of the Olympic Pipeline, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) power lines
- New electrical power substation
- Oil/water separator facilities and containment for a single-car spill
- Stormwater facilities

The rail extension for the crude unloading facility would extend from the existing BNSF rail line and spur (near South March Point Road) in a northwesterly direction approximately 5,500 feet to North Texas Road. The rail facility would consist of approximately 8,000 feet of unloading tracks with a concrete unloading pad, approximately 1,300 feet of track for temporary storage of rail cars that are taken out of service for repair and maintenance, and about 7,200 feet of train-staging track.

Rail ingress and egress would be provided via a connection to the existing BNSF mainline located to the southeast, which would require modifications to the BNSF rail configuration. The rail project has been designed to avoid blocking East March Point Road, at the BNSF mainline crossing, during unloading by providing adequate rail track to move the train onto the Shell PSR site, beyond March Point Road.

The crude oil transfer station would include vent headers, a containment area, drain connections and collection header, and tank car grounding. An operations shelter, storage shed, electrical structure and a small employee parking lot would also be constructed in proximity to the crude oil transfer facility.

The proposed project would also include various site preparation activities including, but not limited to, clearing and grading; installation and construction of associated infrastructure improvements, such as stormwater infrastructure; and extension of existing services and utilities, including electricity, sanitary sewer, potable water, etc. Two existing pipelines and some PSE power lines would have segments relocated. Two ponds are proposed to provide permanent storm water control. An oil/water separator pond would also be provided on the west side of the rail adjacent to the new facilities.

Historical Documents and Applications: