Wednesday, August 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Public review extended for Valero refinery project

OilTrainW

Barbara Burr and Damien Luzzo, right, protest oil trains rolling through Davis as commuters get off the train Wednesday at the Southern Pacific Depot in downtown Davis. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | July 11, 2014 |

BENICIA — The Benicia Planning Commission met Thursday night to discuss the draft environmental impact report for the proposed expansion of the Valero oil refinery, voting to extend the public review period from 45 to 90 days and adding a second public comment day on Aug. 14.

Hundreds of residents from across the Sacramento Valley turned up to give public comment or watch the proceedings. Many encouraged the city to extend the written comment period, arguing that at 1,469 pages, the report is too long for the average resident to read through in 45 days.

The city of Davis and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments previously requested more time to review the material.

The expansion would allow the refinery to process an additional 100 oil tanker cars each day, and has drawn widespread concern from communities along the Capitol Corridor train route, including Davis.

After some of the members expressed concern about the EIR’s complexity, the commission voted 4-2 to extend the public comment period through Sept. 15. The room erupted in applause, with activists high-fiving each other during the subsequent break.

Damien Luzzo, 25, attended the meeting with the Sunflower Alliance, an anti-fossil fuel group that brought 47 sunflowers to commemorate the deaths at Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, after a train carrying crude oil derailed in July 2013.

“I work in Sacramento, I live in Davis, I grew up in Dixon,” Luzzo said.

He cited concerns about the safety of the trains and California’s reliance on fossil fuels, considering the extension a small step in the right direction.

“It’s all about one victory,” Luzzo said. “It’s about giving the climate movement its momentum.”

The commission also heard presentations from city staff and Valero’s lead environmental engineer, Don Cuffel.

“It is a logistics project that will provide us with a third means of receiving the oil,” Cuffel said.

He emphasized that Valero has reduced its greenhouse gases in the last three years, and that this project would help keep the company competitive. The California Energy Commission estimates the state could be importing 230,000 train cars of oil by 2016, up from just 70 in 2009.

After the presentations, the commission opted to schedule a second public hearing, allowing out-of-town residents to speak Thursday while encouraging Benicia residents to wait until August. The report ranked the chances of an accident or spill as insignificant, which drew the most criticism from commenters, especially those from Davis.

Elizabeth Lasensky, 65, reminded the council about two previous Davis derailments in 2003 and 2009.

“We get none of the benefits that Benicia will get, while taking substantial risks,” Lasensky said.

— Reach Elizabeth Case at ecase@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow her on Twitter at @elizabeth_case

Comments

comments

Elizabeth Case

.

News

Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

 
Yolo grows sunflower seeds for the world

By Margaret Burns | From Page: A1 | Gallery

True Blue Devil Arnold gave back starting in high school

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Farmworkers’ son wins prestigious NIH scholarship

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Interested in Portuguese? Drop by I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Play groups offered by Center for Families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Chat with Poppenga at coffee shop

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Give blood and get a free movie ticket

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder campaign distributes signs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Back-to-school party benefits Archer campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Breast cancer program examines surgery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Crisis nursery bill on governor’s desk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Global warming on group’s agenda

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
A sweet reward for turning in cash

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

Try yoga, meditation at Holistic Health Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Troops get ‘Hugs From Home’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Raley’s pays $1.6 million to settle hazardous-waste lawsuit

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Documentary reveals ‘The Village Under the Forest’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

UCD West Village gets an electric Zipcar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Little Rock hero featured at reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
UCD ranks No. 16 for serving the public interest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Wolk’s infrastructure bill clears state Senate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Obama risks alienating Latinos

By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

 
A water plan for all of California

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
MRAP sends the wrong message

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Play structure idea endorsed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Thanks for firearms info

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Buschman, Cats mute the Sounds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
New coach eager to see his Aggie charges hit the courses

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shaw respects Aggies, while is Gould happy to get a shot at Stanford

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils prep for tough 2014 volleyball schedule

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner deals as Giants blank Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Carter’s blast send Astros past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Online registration ends Friday for Labor Day Races

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Field to fork: Play catch-up with summer’s produce

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Franco M. Navazio, M.D.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6