Adams Broadwell attorneys on behalf of SAFER California: critical review of Valero FEIR

By Roger Straw, February 10, 2016
[See also the update section below for exhibits added later today.  – RS]

On February 8, 2016, the law firm Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo sent the City of Benicia of lengthy and detailed review, highly critical of the City’s Final EIR on Valero Crude By Rail(Warning – this is a 10 MB download.)

The letter is written on behalf of “Safe Fuel and Energy Resources California (‘SAFER California’) and individuals who reside and work in the City of Benicia.”  It features individual reviews by well-known environmental experts Dr. Phyllis Fox and Dr. Petra Pless.

The Benicia Independent has created an INDEX to the document which is lengthy and is followed by extensive supporting attachments (see text version below).

Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo – INDEX
PDF Page # Description
1 Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cordozo comments, cover letter
2 I. Interest of Commenters
3 II. The City’s responses to comments are inadequate
5 III. The City’s application of federal preemption is overbroad & conflicts with the constitutional exercise of traditional police powers
12 IV. The city still lacks substantial evidence to support its conclusions in the FEIR regarding the project’s significant impacts and still fails to incorporate all feasible mitigation measures necessary to reduce such impacts to a less than significant level
36 V. The FEIR still fails to analyze all feasible alternatives
38 VI. The FEIR fails to disclose the project’s inconsistencies with the City’s general plan
40 VII. The FEIR fails to disclose the project’s inconsistencies with the general plans of uprail cities and counties
43 VIII. Conclusion
44 Attachment A: Findings for denial (Exhibit C)
57 Attachment B: Responses to Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cordozo comments
60 Attachment C: Dr. Phillis Fox, Comments on FEIR
62 I. Summary & Conclusions
65 II. Failures to analyze air quality impacts on different types of crude
71 III. Underestimate of ROG estimates
85 IV. Southern route not  analyzed
97 V. Alternatives to the project
98 VI. Mitigations not required
106 Attachment D: Dr. Petra Pless, Review of FEIR
107 Cover letter
108 I. Inadequacies of project description & EIR analyses not adequately supported
112 II. Failures to mitigate air quality impacts – construction
119 III. Failures to mitigate air quality impacts – operations
164 IV. The EIR’s Health Risk Assessments Are Substantially Flawed and Fail to Identify Significant Impacts
181 V. Recommendation
182 Attachment F-1, REVISED ASSUMPTIONS FOR Year 2014 Daily Line Haul Locomotive Criteria Pollutant Emissions -100 Railcars per Day per EIR Methodology
185 Attachment F-2 Project characteristics, assumptions, and locomotive emissions according to Phillips 66 SMR CBR FEIR and Valero Benicia CBR FEIR
187 Locomotive Emissions


On Feb. 10, the City of Benicia posted extensive additional Exhibits to the SAFER California Letter of February 8, 2016.  See below, or go to the City’s page.  [#53 and #62 are broken links.  I will fix if/when I get better information.  – RS]

Ex._1_SJVAPCD_Authority_to_Construct_Application_ Review_Bakersfield_Terminal_2012-07-25
10. Phillips Rail Spur Project FEIR December 2015
14. Impl_doc
17.(2) Tec_development_doc_final_2000
17. Impl_doc
18. ep724-stb-data-spreadsheet
22. (b)_4185_Field_Guide_To_Tank_Cars1-opt
22. CH2ThresholdsTables5-2015
26._H51A Executive Summary
36. (1)2014_crude_by_
36. (2)2015_crude_by_
36. (3)2013_crude_by_
36. (4)2012_crude_by_
36. (5)2011_crude_by_
36. (6)2010_crude_by_
36. (7)2009_crude_by_
45. Phillips Rail Spur Project FEIR December 2015
52. __102634-west-coast-seein
59. (1)ethylene-oxide-4pg-brochure
59. (2)ethylene-oxide-4pg-brochure
62. tsocorpsite.files.wor…tesoro-dot-120-fact-sheet
66. RAR1201