Yolo County Board of Supervisors critical of Valero Draft EIR

[Editor: The Yolo County Board of Supervisors submitted an incredibly important letter to the City of Benicia critical of the Draft EIR for Valero Crude by Rail.  In their letter, the Board lays out the importance under California law of taking into account indirect impacts beyond those of the immediate project, including “upstream” communities along the rails in Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, and Contra Costa counties.  Benicia organizers offer profound thanks to our “uprail” neighbors whose health and safety concerns are also ours.  Below is a brief excerpt.  For the full document in PDF format, click here.  – RS]

Yolo County Board of Supervisors

July 15, 2014


Amy Million, Principal Planner
Community Development Department
250 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

RE: Valero Benicia Crude by Rail

Dear Ms. Million:

Yolo County has reviewed the City of Benicia’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (“DEIR”) related to the project at the Valero Oil Refinery that would result in the daily delivery of 70,000 barrels of oil by rail to the Refinery (the “Valero Project”). The Valero Project would move approximately 80% of Valero’s crude deliveries from ocean tankers to railways that traverse through our local communities and sensitive environmental resources.  Notwithstanding the change in where the oil is traveling, the DEIR pays little attention to the potential upstream effects of increased oil by rail shipments through Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, and Contra Costa counties.

As discussed below, the DEIR provides only a brief review of the environmental, safety, and noise effects on upstream communities. This DEIR justifies this cursory analysis because the effects are “indirect” and not in the Project’s immediate vicinity.  […continued…]