Important to read the agenda, comment by email, attend and voice your thoughts at the August 17 zoom meeting
The Aug 17 Benicia City Council agenda is PACKED with important items. One is the ESTABLISHMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF THE NORTHWESTERN STUDY AREA SUBCOMMITTEE. This is all about the SEENO PROPERTY, and appears in the CONSENT calendar, Item 20 B. on p. 7.
The intent is to set up a Council Subcommittee composed of Mayor Young and Councilmember Macenski, who will “help City staff and consultants facilitate discussions about considering potential future land uses” of the Seeno property.
In my opinion, this initiative somewhat misleadingly re-names the Seeno property the “Northwestern Study Area”. Renaming the area will not remove the deservedly untrustworthy reputation of the Seeno family and its corporate entities. Utmost caution must be urged as the City moves forward to consider development there.
It’s good news that the staff report mentions a City-sponsored “Specific Plan” 3 times, including a reference to the fact that adoption of a Specific Plan (Master Plan) is required by Benicia’s General Plan for any development of 40 acres or more. A Specific Plan was a primary focus of our 2008 Green Gateway Plan. Reference – see Benicia General Plan Policy 2.3.1, PDF pages 48-49, [document pages 34-35].
A Few Questions
Will the renaming confuse or fail to alert those of us who have been through battles concerning the Seeno property? Should the committee include citizen representatives in addition to the two Council members? Will the Committee recommend the City require a Specific Plan for any new development?
Your continued vigilance and thoughtful input is needed! See
“This is a huge win for environmental justice communities who have been fighting for this rule for years as a matter of racial, environmental, and climate justice. Despite a widespread misinformation campaign by the refineries and their allies of exaggerated costs that threatened our communities with doomsday scenarios, the Board of Directors made an historic vote today on behalf of disproportionately impacted communities.”
“We look forward to Chevron and PBF doing the right thing and installing wet gas scrubbers that will dramatically clean up their pollution and create numerous jobs in the process, without further delays,”
In hearing testimony before the Air District Board on Wednesday, Benicia Mayor Steve Young urged approval of Rule 6-5. He pointed out that here in Benicia…
“…we have over a decade of experience of the value of the wet gas scrubbers. Valero installed a wet gas scrubber in 2010, and emissions data has shown a significant reduction in the overall emissions of criteria pollutants since it went online. Valero voluntarily addressed the problem of PM 2.5 emissions from their cat cracker by installing the wet gas scrubber. It is past time to do the right thing for clean air in the Bay Area. Please approve Rule 6-5”
After delaying the vote last month, the Air District Board voted this morning in favor of rule 6-5, the rule requiring refineries to clean up their air pollution.
This is a BIG deal and many activists have worked hard to make this happen. It’s been a years’ long coalition effort, but organizing works. The health and environmental justice arguments and dogged appeals to each board member (finally) paid off.
A big special thank you to our folks who stepped up to contact their representatives on the Board, and kudos to the coalition of community groups who put in years of effort. Huge gratitude to Communities for a Better Environment, Sunflower Alliance, APEN, and the health professionals from PSR and Climate Health Now. The headlines (Reuters) are already reading: Northern California requires oil refiners to slash air pollution — in which 350 Bay Area leader, Jan Kirsch, is quoted.
“I was there for the vote. Great victory for all involved. I will send a thank you to John Bauters from my esteemed home of Emeryville” — 350 Bay Area Leader
“The Air District Board’s decision to step up and fulfill the mandate of our regional Air District was necessary to protect lives and the health of our communities, particularly the already-disadvantaged communities in the path of the emissions monsters. We recognize that it took political courage to stand up to the refineries and other fossil fuel interests, who pulled out all the stops with an aggressive disinformation campaign as the decision neared. The community responded to this disinformation campaign robustly and with a focus on justice. That alone is a win for the Bay Area.
The win at the Air District is one that we embrace, and we welcome the eventual improvement in the air around the Bay Area. We are grateful to the large coalition of community organizations and individuals who spent many years collaborating and educating. We remain concerned that these common sense solutions that save lives and money still take so much work to enact, and are committed to continuing the work of improving air quality and phasing out fossil fuels to save lives and climate stability.”
— Nik, 350 Bay Area Staff
A well deserved celebration is in order today (YAY), and don’t forget to thank any/all representatives who voted YES in this historic vote.
Looking for a new job or a change in career? The City of Benicia Human Resources Division is accepting applications for the following positions:
Community Preservation Officer
Facility Attendant II (Part Time)
Human Resources Assistant – Limited Duration NEW
Management Analyst I/II – Climate Action Coordinator – Limited Duration NEW(Editor: for details click here, including MANAGEMENT ANALYST I/II – CLIMATE ACTION….first review of applications scheduled for June 28, 2021. This limited duration position is anticipated to last approximately 12 months and is in the Economic Development Department. Full Time $5,697.08 – $7,617.56 Monthly)
Parks Landscape Building Maintenance Worker (Parks Division) NEW
Police Officer – Academy/Non-Lateral
Police Officer – Lateral (Currently Working)
Reserve Officer (Volunteer)
Seasonal Senior Lead Park Worker (Part Time)
To apply for any of these positions, the application and supplemental forms may be found online, then click the job title. Employment applications may also be obtained from, and must be returned to, Human Resources at 250 East L Street, Benicia. Sign up with Job Interest Cards to be notified of future position openings when they occur.
Virtual Meeting on Benicia Community Air Monitoring Site Selection
Dear Benicia Community and Stakeholders,
You are invited to attend a virtual community meeting to learn about air quality monitoring and help shape the future of community air monitoring in the Benicia area.
In a joint effort with the City of Benicia, the Air District identified candidate locations in Benicia for a new community air monitoring station. At this meeting, Air District staff will share the sites under consideration and information about how the sites were selected. Community members and stakeholders will have the opportunity to inform final site selection.
The workshop will be held using Zoom and will take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
The Air District monitors air quality as part of ongoing efforts to inform and protect public health. One of the ways the Air District does this is by collecting fees to install, operate, and maintain air monitoring stations in communities near refineries. These air monitoring stations will provide additional information about the levels of pollution experienced by these communities.
The Air District invites you to participate in this community meeting to discuss and review the site selection process and provide feedback on a community air monitoring station within the Benicia community.