Repost from Cool Davis, Davis, California
Crude-by-Rail Opportunity for Written Comments
Workshop on How to Respond to the Draft EIR
Wednesday, June 18 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Fellowship Hall at Davis Community Church (421 D Street)
Instruction, brainstorming, and organizing our efforts
The Draft EIR for the Valero rail terminal Project in Benicia (70,000 barrels of crude oil /day or one unit train of 100 cars over 1 mile) will be released for a 45-day public comment period on June 10, with a possible extension to 60 or 90 days for review.
Our city will comment and has invited surrounding jurisdictions to join them. Other organizations and concerned individuals are also invited to make written comments during the comment period. To inform yourself about the project and begin thinking how you might respond, some recommended resources are:
• https://beniciaindependent.com It posts all the official documents related to the proposed project as well as a plethora of articles.
• http://www.sightline.org is also a terrific resource for the bigger picture of crude-by-rail and also coal and natural gas export. http://www.sightline.org/research/the-northwests-pipeline-on-rails/ and http://daily.sightline.org/blog_series/the-northwests-pipeline-on-rails/ This blog series is outstanding, although it is aimed at Washington and Oregon which are besieged by trains compared to CA so far.
• Natural Resources Defense Council letter on safety (30 pages) http://yolanoclimateaction.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/rail-safety-comments-final-group-letter.pdf
• Two reports by Forest Ethics, http://yolanoclimateaction.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/off-the-rails-ultimate-nw-forst-ethics-report.pdf and http://forestethics.org//sites/forestethics.huang.radicaldesigns.org/files/ForestEthics-Refineries-Report-Sept2012.pdf
• Document by Attorney General Kamala Harris on safety and health concerns http://yolanoclimateaction.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/kamala-harris-addresses-inadequate-eir-on-wespac-in-pittsburg/#more-107
• An article on liability which is an angle that may not be addressed in the DEIR, http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/03/17/record-year-oil-train-accidents-leaves-insurers-wary
Gov. Brown added $6.7 million to the Office of Spill Prevention & Response to handle accidents. It won’t go far in a catastrophe.
• More on risk assessment for railroads and who will be responsible for liability. http://daily.sightline.org/2014/05/19/risk-assessment-for-railroads/
• Rachel Maddow’s May 2, 2014 broadcast, “Public Safety at risk by Oil Train Shipments” at http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show
Key areas for uprail responders will most likely include public safety, the hazards of spills in terms of the environment, the insistence on the Right-to-know laws, health risks, liability issues, and the true cost of oil in terms of climate change. Benicia has to respond to all comments in their final EIR, so the more specific, thoughtful and numerous our comments, the better. Different people can address different aspects.
Another opportunity for citizen response: The Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery in San Luis Obispo County request for a rail spur for 5 oil trains of 88 cars per week expects to release their Draft EIR possibly in July.