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Several Washington state refineries have recently signed a new mutual aid agreement for rail emergency response with BNSF Railway Co., the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) announced this week on its blog.The voluntary agreement establishes the sharing of personnel and resources between refiners, railways and their first responders in the event of an incident involving hazardous materials. The agreement also sets up procedures for communicating the need for mutual aid assistance and response.The agreement formalizes "an already strong working relationship" between the refineries and BNSF, said WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd.The agreement advances rail safety, added John Lovenburg, BNSF's vice president, environmental."This agreement is an extension of our long-standing practice to provide aid to communities no matter if an incident involves rail or not," he said. "Nothing is more important than safely operating through the communities we serve and we are absolutely committed to ensuring local first responders have access to training, information and access to BNSF’s safety experts and response equipment."Signatory members include BNSF, BP Cherry Point, Phillips 66, Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Cos. and U.S. Oil Refining Co.