BREAKING: Yolo County urges Benicia to mitigate impacts before approving Valero oil train project

By Roger Straw, February 5, 2016

BREAKING: Yolo County urges Benicia to mitigate impacts before approving Valero oil train project

Yolo_CountyThe Benicia Independent is in receipt of a Yolo County letter sent on January 26, 2016 to the City of Benicia, but not as yet posted on the City’s website.  The letter is severely critical of the City’s Final EIR, and calls for the Benicia Planning Commission to insist on measures that would offset significant environmental, health and safety impacts to communities along the Union-Pacific rail line.

Jim Provenza, Chair of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors writes, “Although the City’s revised analysis correctly acknowledges that the project will have significant impacts to communities along the Union-Pacific rail line, the County is concerned that these significant impacts are not sufficiently mitigated. Indeed, the City eschews its responsibility to consider possible mitigation measures on the incorrect premise that any such efforts would be preempted by federal law.”

The letter goes on to reference a letter sent to Benicia by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), in which the legal case is made that such mitigations are not preempted by federal law.

The letter concludes, “In light of the significant impacts identified in the Revised Draft EIR, we ask that the City of Benicia reconsider its position on preemption and not approve the project until the impacts are mitigated. SACOG’s October 30, 2015 letter provides mitigation measures that are both feasible and necessary to lessen the impact on our local communities. Without these mitigation measures in place, the project should not be approved.”