Here you can download critical studies and public comments on Valero’s dangerous and dirty Crude-By-Rail proposal. Comments are arranged most recent at the top. This page displays ONLY 2016 comments. See CBR – PROJECT REVIEW at right for earlier years’ comments.
PUBLIC COMMENTS ON VALERO CRUDE BY RAIL – 2016
MOST RECENT COMMENTS:
- Written Public Comments, July 2-19, 2016 (Large file – City website might be slow. Alternate download from the Benicia Independent here.)
- Transcript, City Council hearing of June 7, 2016 (Council hears public comment and votes 3-2 to give Valero a continuance (delay) until September 20, allowing Valero to petition the federal Surface Transportation Board. (Minutes and video of this hearing available on the City’s website here.)
- Written Public Comments, June 25 – July 1, 2016
- Written Public Comments, June 8 – 24 , 2016
- Written Public Comments, May 7-June 7, 2016
- Written Public Comments, April 23-May 6, 2016
- Transcript, City Council hearing of April 19, 2016 (Council questions of staff, and concludes with the Council’s decision to allow a hearing on Valero’s request to grant a delay.)
- Transcript, City Council hearing of April 18, 2016 (Final public comments, Valero’s 5-minute closing comment, and the first portion of Councilmember questions of city staff.)
- Public Comments April 21-22, 2016 (Letters from Marilyn Bardet and Larry Lauber regarding an Apr 20 traffic accident on I680 eastbound at the Bayshore Road offramp, likely caused by a train crossing backup on Park Road in the Industrial Park.)
- Public Comments April 19-20, 2016 (Includes letters from Deputy California Attorney General Scott Lichtig, Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, Safe Fuel and Energy Resources, Mayor Elizabeth Patterson, Valero Attorney Diane Sinclair [an interesting map], Ed Ruszel, Judith Sullivan, Barabara Ramano / Nancy Lund, Ethan Buckner, and Charles Davidson.)
- Public Comments April 18-19, 2016 through 3:00 p.m. on April 19, 2016 (337 pages, 37MB, including a 314-page document with appendices from Safe Fuel and Energy Resources California, a letter from Valero’s Chris Howe, two letters from Marilyn Bardet, and letters from Chez Hiro, Kathy Kerridge, Bob Livesay, Deborah Lyons, Eleanor Prouty, Bea Reynolds, Nancy Rothstein, and Pat Toth-Smith.)
- Letter from Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, April 18, 2016
- Public Comments April 15-18, 2016 (34 pages, 2.4 MB. Includes the letter from Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates; response from City staff to letter from BSHC; 13 individual letters opposing the proposal; and names of 11 people who signed Valero’s support letter.)
- IMPORTANT: Letter from California Attorney General Kamala Harris disagreeing with City staff, consultants and Valero Refinery, April 14, 2016, 5 pages, 0.4MB.
- Public Comments Submitted April 13-14, 25 pages, 0.8 MB (includes letter from California Attorney General disagreeing with Benicia City staff, consultants and Valero)
- Public Comments Submitted April 7-12, 2016 (Link downloads a copy of the file from GoogleDrive. City website download is often too slow.)
- Benicia Planning Commissioner Steve Young, April 6, 2016
- Public Comments April 6, 2016 (Link downloads a copy of the file from GoogleDrive. City website download is often too slow.)
- Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community Petition – submitted on April 4, 2016 – 4,081 names, including 1,204 from Benicia (Links to a page on the Benicia Independent)
- Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, Marilyn Bardet, April 4, 2016
- Public Comments April 4-5, 2016 (Links to a page on the Benicia Independent that includes an index to the 456-page document.) BREAKOUT:
- Attorney Rachael Koss’ 2 letters (39 pages) are followed by
- Comments by environmental expert Dr. Phyllis Fox (244 pages)
- And an analysis with attachments by environmental biologist Scott Cashen (112 pages).
- California Attorney General Kamala Harris, April 14, 2016
- California State Senator Lois Wolk, April 4, 2016
- Structural engineer, Benicia resident Amir Firouz, April 6, 2016
- Five environmental attorneys and others, March 31, 2016
- Attorney Rachael Koss, for SAFER California, March 30, 2016
- Greg Karras, Senior Scientist for Communities for a Better Environment, March 31, 2016
- Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, March 31, 2016
- Public Comments March 31-April 1, 2016 [The City’s download of this 14 MB document is slow-to-impossible. Here’s a quicker download.]
- Public Comments March 25-31, 2016 PART 1 [Quicker download] • Public Comments March 25-31, 2016 PART 2 [Quicker download]
- Public Comments February 12-March 25, 2016 [Quicker download]
City Council hearing – March 15, 2016
Planning Commission hearing – Feb. 8-11, 2016
Planning Commission WRITTEN TRANSCRIPTS – Feb. 8-11 Hearings On March 4, 2016, the City of Benicia released written transcripts of the public hearings on Valero Crude By Rail, Feb. 8-11. Download directly from the City’s website, or from below. Note that “Condensed Transcripts” include all text, but pages are reduced to appear 4 pages on each page – AND they also include an extensive INDEX at the end. “Full Transcripts” show a single page on each page, and have no index.
- Planning Commission Feb 8, 2016 Condensed Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 8, 2016 Full Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 9, 2016 Condensed Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 9, 2016 Full Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 10, 2016 Condensed Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 10,2016 Full Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 11, 2016 Condensed Transcript
- Planning Commission Feb 11, 2016 Full Transcript
The highly anticipated RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION to deny certification of the EIR and to deny a use permit for Valero’s Crude By Rail project. (This is the Benicia Independent’s searchable-text version of the Resolution. The City’s original can be found here.) HIGHLY IMPORTANT Comments on the FINAL DRAFT EIR (The City posted the following letters in “composite” PDF documents. Because of their importance and for easier access, I have separated them out into individual letters. For links to the City’s originals, see below.)
- Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, Marilyn Bardet
- Iron Workers Local 378: “…withholding support to this project until we receive more information and assurances from Valero as to the safety of the 1,250 Apprentices being trained at our …Facility.”
- Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo on behalf of SAFER California: a lengthy and detailed review, highly critical of the City’s Final EIR on Valero Crude By Rail. Here is my INDEX. The letter features individual reviews by well-known environmental experts Dr. Phyllis Fox and Dr. Petra Pless.
- Bay Area Air District (BAAQMD) letter: States that the FEIR is inadequate, and gives examples of air quality mitigations that do not conflict with federal preemption. Points out that air quality studies in the FEIR rely on inaccurate and outdated risk analyses. Offers to help Benicia develop and implement mitigation measures. – important!
- NRDC and 18 other groups: Expert and legal comments on Final EIR and Staff Report – important!
- Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) letter highly critical of Valero oil train EIR, February 4, 2016
- City of Davis urges Benicia to refuse to certify Valero oil train EIR, February 3, 2016
- Yolo County urges Benicia to mitigate impacts before approving Valero oil train project, January 26, 2016
Public Comments posted to the City website on 2/11/16:
- Public Comments February 11, 2016 – 8 MB, 112 pages. In addition to many letters from concerned citizens, this document includes notable letters from Benician Amir Fioruz, Charles Davidson of Hercules, attorney Melissa Hagan of Union Pacific Railroad, Carol Warren of the Yolano group of Sierra Club, Jean Jackman, Dana Stokes, Lynne Nittler, Nancy Price and Frances Burke of Davis, Roger Straw of the Benicia Independent, Certified Law Students Rylee Kercher and Claudia Antonacci of Stanford Mills Legal Clinic.
- Public Comments February 9-10, 2016 – 2.8 MB, 39 pages. In addition to many letters from concerned citizens, this document includes notable letters from the Iron Workers Local 378, Laurie Litman of 350 Sacramento, Former Davis Planning Commissioner Nancy Price, Benician Pat Toth-Smith, Marilyn Bardet of Benicians For a Safe and Healthy Community, attorney Jackie Prange of NRDC, and Public Affairs Director Francisco Castillo of Union Pacific Railroad.