The National Energy Board has released data that shows oil by rail has increased substantially in the last two years.
According to the Energy Board nearly 16,000 barrels of crude oil were shipped per day by rail in early 2012 compared to over 146,000 per day by the end of 2013.
With the increase of oil by rail and recent derailments such as the one in Lac Megantic concerns have been raised across the province about rail safety.
However Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach says oil isn’t moving through this area yet but that hasn’t stopped council from looking at the risks of rail accidents.
“We had a meeting with CN and with all of the fire chiefs from across the Northwest talking about in the unlikely event that a large rail related disaster did occur, what are the plans? Luckily at this point crude oil isn’t hauled through our community but there are other materials that are very flammable and explosive.”
He says materials such as gasoline, propane and diesel are routinely passing through town.
He says there are concerns that if oil continues to be shipped along the tracks eventually it could head this way which would increase the risks of dangerous accidents or spills into the river.