The disaster we've worried about almost happened -- a major derailment of an oil train in a major metropolitan area. If the tank cars had been full, who knows how bad this would have been.
18 oil tank cars, part of a mile-plus long oil train, derailed and tipped over in the Port of Tacoma. The tanks were empty, though tanks on either side of them contained oil.
CA Atty. General Kamala Harris to the City of Benicia: Benicia’s Planning Commission and City Council have every right to deny a land permit for Valero’s Proposed Crude by Rail offloading rack
On Thursday, April 14, the City of Benicia received a letter from California Attorney General Kamala Harris disagreeing with City staff, consultants, and Valero Refinery.
The letter asserts that Benicia’s Planning Commission and City Council have every right to deny a land permit for Valero’s Proposed Crude by Rail offloading rack.
“For Benicia to turn a blind eye to the most serious of the Project’s environmental impacts, merely because they flow from federally-regulated rail operations, would be contrary to both state and federal law.”
“City Staff has asserted that Benicia is “legally prohibited” from denying the Project based on the rail-related impacts disclosed in the Revised Draft EIR. Valero agrees with City Staff, asserting, ‘the City Council’s hands are, in effect, tied by the law of federal preemption.’
“We disagree that the City is prohibited from considering the Project’s eleven significant and unavoidable rail-related environmental impacts when exercising its local land use authority.
“Where, as here, an oil company proposes a project that is not subject to STB regulation and over which a public agency retains discretionary permitting authority, it would be a prejudicial abuse of discretion for that agency not to consider all of the project’s foreseeable impacts in exercising its authority."
You can read the whole letter here.
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