Bloomberg: California AG Rejects Trade-Secret Claims for Crude-by-Rail

Repost from Bloomberg News

California AG Rejects Trade-Secret Claims for Crude-by-Rail

By Victoria Slind-Flor, Oct 22, 2014

California Attorney General Kamala Harris expressed reservations about the trade-secret provisions in a proposal for a crude-by-rail project in Benicia, California.

In a letter to the city’s Community Development Department, she said the draft environmental impact report for San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. (VLO)’s project “frustrates” the California Environmental Quality Act by not disclosing information about which particular crude oil feedstocks would be delivered in as many as 100 tank cars a day.

She said the missing information includes the weight, sulfur content, vapor pressure and acidity of the crude oil feedstocks, information she said is “critical for an adequate analysis” of the effects of the project on public safety and air quality.

Harris said the California governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the state Transportation Department determined that information about the specific characteristics of the crude moved by rail “are not protected trade secrets and should be publicly released.”

The attorney general said these issues “must be addressed and corrected” before the City Council of Benicia takes action on the draft environmental impact report.

Benicia, a city of about 27,000, is on the edge of the Carquinez Strait emptying into San Francisco Bay.