The Phillips 66 oil rail transport and storage project would permit millions of gallons of toxic crude oil to be shipped by rail through California cities, from Chico, to Sacramento, through Bay Area cities and San Jose, and southward to the Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. Along its route for the life of the operation, the project would subject millions of Californians to risks of derailments, spills, fires, and explosions.
BREAKING NEWS: On Monday, January 25, a staff report from the Planning Commission of San Luis Obispo County recommended DENIAL of Phillips 66 proposal to deliver by oil train and refine tar sands oil at its refinery in Nipomo.
The Findings for Denial cite multiple reasons for the recommendation. Among its 34 citations: increased cancer risks resulting from degraded air quality, hazards posed to endangered plant and animal species, loss of buffer zones separating industry from residential areas, risks to archaeological resources from a spill, and risks to communities along the main rail line posed by tanker car explosions. Some of these risks cannot be mitigated because of Federal preemption, which does not require the use of cleaner equipment or safer conditions of rail transportation.
In short, the Findings for Denial stated:
"There are insufficient specific, overriding economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits of the project that outweigh the significant effects on the environment, as would be required to approve the project..."
See all documents in the Staff Report recommending that the project by rejected.
The final Environmental Impact Report for the project was released on December 21st. It confirmed the magnitude of the dangers, identifying eleven Class 1 impacts including air quality and health impacts, and the risk of “fire or explosion in the vicinity of a populated area” that would affect communities all along the rail route.
Despite the recommendation to deny, the Planning Commissioners still need to hear from the public. This is not the last step in the process—the county's board of supervisors also have a say. Therefore we must keep up the pressure.
Four Things You Can Do to Ensure this Project is Finally Rejected
2. Write a letter or send an email to San Luis Obispo Planning Commissioners and Board of Supervisors. Please do it today.
3. Sign a petition asking San Luis Obispo decision makers to reject this reckless and dangerous project.
4. On February 4 and 5, beginning at 8AM, join hundreds of other concerned Californians and attend the SLO Planning Commission hearings. Carpools are forming for rides from the Bay Area, to leave early in the morning on Feb. 4 Sign-up as a driver or a passenger here.
If you decide to go the San Luis Obispo, please sign the RSVP below so your name appears at the bottom of this page. That will make it easier to form carpools. For more details, please contact Valerie Love (Center for Biological Diversity, contact information below).
1055 Monterey St
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
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