Solano County lobbyists to advocate for crude-by-rail health and safety

By Roger Straw, February 12, 2015

Solano County seal (400x400)A little known but influential Council here in Solano County is the Solano County City County Coordinating Council (CCCC, or 4C’s).

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson’s recent E-Alert gives a rare look at the proceedings of a recent CCCC meeting, including adoption of a legislative platform for Solano County that calls for our State and Federal lobbyists to support efforts to improve safety of hazardous materials transported by rail.

Mayor Patterson offered the following insider perspective on the adoption of the 2016 legislative platform at the CCCC’s February 12, 2015 meeting:

Highlights of the discussion was the transportation safety issue that Benicia added: “Support efforts to improve safety of hazardous materials transported by rail, including crude by rail and enhance capacity of local emergency responders to appropriately respond to potential emergency events resulting from derailment or releases.”

…there was spirited discussion and accusations of “agenda driven” thinking and the language not necessary and other detracting remarks.  Because the 4Cs was established with a consensus protocol, a simple majority of the quorum was not enough to carry this suggestion forward.  After more discussion and the lead objector, Supervisor Spering, saw that that half the Mayors and three Supervisors did want the above language, he offered language that seemed to capture the essence of the suggestion.  In the end we gave direction to staff to finalize the language to be reviewed by Supervisor Spering and the City of Benicia.

Kudos to Mayor Patterson and Benicia city staff, and many thanks to the other County Supervisors and Mayors who backed this legislative priority.  Let’s hope that the compromise language still has some teeth!

It will be wonderful to be know that our County’s tax-supported State and Federal lobbyists are representing us to improve health and safety legislative measures with regard to crude by rail.