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Environmentalists want ban on oil terminal creation in Baltimore

Baltimore City Hall

Baltimore City Hall (The Daily Record/Lauren Rock)

Editor’s note: In a story March 12, The Associated Press reported that city lawyers in Baltimore have said that a bill that would ban new or expanded crude oil terminals may violate constitutional protections because it doesn’t clearly define crude oil. The story should have specified that at a Feb. 21 hearing an amendment was added to clarify the definition of crude oil.

Environmentalist groups plan to rally outside of Baltimore’s City Hall in support of a bill that would ban the construction of new crude oil terminals.

The Baltimore Sun reports the Wednesday rally is in support of the City Council taking up the bill as part of an effort to limit oil trains passing through Baltimore. The bill would change the zoning code to ban the construction and stop the city’s two existing terminals from expanding.

It’s unknown how much oil passes through Baltimore; Railroad company CSX says it has never sent dedicated oil trains through Baltimore, but state records show oil traveled through it.

City lawyers say that without clearly defining crude oil, the law would be impermissibly vague, but singling out one kind of oil may violate constitutional protections.