Attorney General letter may be terminal for ORCEM / Vallejo Marine Terminal

By Roger Straw, November 30, 2018
Nov. 7 2018 letter from Deputy Attorney General Erin Ganahl

Take heart, Vallejoans!  The letter sent to your City by the Attorney General may just do the trick.  (See Times-Herald Nov. 12 coverage.)

I remember back in Benicia’s crude-by-rail days, when Deputy Attorney General Scott Lichtig of Attorney General Kamala Harris’ staff wrote to the City of Benicia.  He wrote first in 2014 urging revision of an “inadequate”  Draft EIR, and again in 2016, defending the City’s right to deny a land use permit.  Lichtig advised our city leaders, “For Benicia to turn a blind eye to the most serious of the Project’s environmental impacts, merely because they flow from federally-regulated rail operations, would be contrary to both state and federal law.”

There were a LOT of us who worked long and hard to defeat Valero’s dangerous and dirty oil train proposal.  Local activists and folks from far and wide disagreed with City staff and Valero’s execs and highly paid attorneys.  We criticized, protested and sent volumes of comments over the course of 3 ½ years.  Scientific and environmental experts and friendly attorneys weighed in.  But it was eye-opening for everyone when the Attorney General’s office got involved.

But… note that the AG letter wasn’t enough.  It’s important here for us to not dwell on the past or get too optimistic.  Stay tuned via Fresh Air Vallejo and keep up the good work.

…because ORCEM/VMT wants to run 552 trucks a day up and down Lemon Street!  We stand in solidarity with residents, business owners and all of our neighbors in Vallejo.  And it’s important to realize that the truck exhaust will travel by air west to east, settling, surely, in Glen Cove and Benicia.

Let’s hope the Vallejo City Council has the backbone Benicia had in 2016, to DENY THIS PROPOSED CATASTROPHIC PROJECT!

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