From an email by Ethan Buckner of ForestEthics
[Editor: Here is the San Luis Obispo County staff document, “Findings for Denial.” This and more documents can be found on the County’s website. See also Ethan’s update: “SLO County Staff Tells County to DENY Phillips 66 Oil Train Terminal” with info on how YOU can attend the hearings in San Luis Obispo. – RS]
BREAKING: San Luis Obispo Planning Department recommends DENIAL of proposed Phillips 66 oil trains terminalBy Ethan Buckner, January 25, 2016
Extraordinary news this afternoon out of San Luis Obispo, California, where Phillips 66 proposed to build an oil trains terminal at its refinery on the Nipomo Mesa.
Ahead of critical county Planning Commission hearings on the project, the SLO County Planning Department released their staff report recommending denial of the project. This document is pretty unprecedented from municipal or county planning staff, who in most cases serve as conduits for industry and placaters of public concern. This document reflects a bold assertion of principles of public health, safety, and climate protection over corporate profit. At the bottom of the email, I’ve pasted the main arguments the county is using to recommend denial.
Come hearing time on February 4 and 5, local activists and allies across California will converge on SLO to make sure that Planning Commissioners listen to their own experts and overwhelming public opposition and stamp in this project’s denial. For those of you able to join us in SLO, here’s some info on transportation to the hearings & rally.
The Planning Department’s recommendations do not come out of nowhere. Over the past two years grassroots activists in SLO and beyond have catalyzed a powerful campaign that’s engaged thousands of Californians and enrolled dozens upon dozens of cities, counties, school boards, unions, and campuses to pressure SLO County to deny this project. This recommendation is an affirmation of our collective power.
Many thanks for all your tireless work, and hope to see you in SLO on February 4 and 5!
1. The Department of Planning and Building has found the Project to be inconsistent with several goals and policies of the following plans:
a. Coastal Zone Framework for Planning
b. County’s Conservation and Open Space Element
c. Costal Plan Policies d. Safety Element
e. Coastal Zone Land Use Ordinance
f. South County Area Plan
2. The Project would be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the public and the residents of San Luis Obispo County due to the increase of hazardous accidents as a result of the Project.
3. The Project includes a significant and unavoidable environmental impact with regards to cancer risk (air quality) for the population near the proposed rail spur.
4. The Project includes a significant and unavoidable environmental impact with regards to diesel particulate matter (air quality) due to an exceedance of the SLOCAPCD CEQA threshold.
5. The Project would result in 10 significant and unavoidable environmental impacts (agricultural resources, four which are air quality, biological, cultural, hazards, public services, and water resources), with regards to the mainline rail operations within the County as a result of the Project. Planning Commission Development Plan/Coastal Development Permit #DRC2012-00095 / Phillips 66 Company Page 6
6. The Project would result in 10 significant and unavoidable environmental impacts (agricultural resources, four which are air quality, biological, cultural, hazards, public services, and water resources), with regards to the mainline rail operations beyond San Luis Obispo County and throughout the State.
7. There is a lack of 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 pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21081.