PHILLIPS 66 TRAIN TERMINAL PROJECT
Phillips 66 proposes to bring mile long oil tanker trains, each carrying 2.4 million gallons of flammable, explosive petroleum, across California and through San Luis Obispo county five times a week for the next 20 years. The crude oil comes from Canada and is the dirtiest on earth, to be refined at the Nipomo Mesa plant, transported to the SF Bay area for further processing, and then exported to the highest bidders, most likely to Asia. P66 plans to turn this local refinery into the western center of sour crude oil processing. Our communities bear all of the risk and P66 shareholders and executives make millions.
THE BLAST ZONE
The U.S. Department of Transportation has designated one mile on each side of the tracks as a blast/evacuation zone in case of an oil train derailment. The percentage of population living in this zone for SLO County's major cities are Paso Robles (45%), Atascadero (52%), Templeton (63%), Santa Margarita (100%), San Luis Obispo (71%), Pismo Beach (37%), Grover Beach (76%), Oceano (88%), overall county (35%). More than 56 public and private schools are in the blast zone as well as major hospitals and public safety facilities.
PUBLIC SAFETY THREATS
Significant and unavoidable threats include oil train derailments and related oil spills, fires, and explosions. These derailments are becoming more common across the U.S. with six in 2015 (thru July), all of them resulting in major spills and five of them catching fire and exploding. The diesel locomotives emit large amounts of exhaust and particulate matter which is very dangerous to public health, especially the young and elderly. Each oil train emits the equivalent particulate matter of 4,500 diesel automobiles, meaning the Phillips 66 project would add the pollution of 2 million cars per year.
SLO county and communities are well known tourist destinations, from the beaches to the vineyards and everywhere between. Our agricultural lands are fertile and productive. An oil train derailment could do irreparable harm to our tourist economy, damage agricultural resources and vineyards, and significantly harm small businesses. Any buildings in the blast zone may see their property values diminish; may not have insurance coverage for oil train damage; and need to disclose the oil train danger in any real estate transactions.
Any oil train spill into a stream, river, watershed, or public water supply would be especially damaging with long term consequences. A train spill close to our beaches could be catastrophic to the near environment and destroy tourism for years. Lowered air quality from train exhaust emissions and carcinogenic gasses will be constant, unavoidable, and continue for over 20 years—even if there is never a derailment. Tar sand crude oil is very high in carbon and its mining, shipping, refining, and consumption will add millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere and further worsen global warming and climate change.
WE HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THESE TRAINS
The P66 refinery has operated for decades refining crude oil delivered by pipelines and will continue to do so for more decades. Canada tar sand oil is highly profitable and must be shipped in by trains and for this P66 needs to build an oil train terminal at the refinery—for which they need a county building permit. Our Supervisors have the power to say NO. Other communities in California and the nation these oil trains would travel through are pleading with us to SAY NO and protect them from the same dangers we will face if the project is approved. Over 30 cities, counties, and school boards from along the rail route have written letters urging our county to reject the project. We are in the unique position of not only having the power to stop this project for our own protection but also for our fellow citizens up and down the train line.
JOIN OUR GRASS ROOTS MOVEMENT
Neither SLO County or Phillips 66 is doing any formal notification of the 95,000 residents living in the blast/evacuation zone of the oil trains. Consequently, a large proportion have no idea of the threat that is planned for them. Please share this information with your neighbors, friends, and family.
--Educate yourself using the links at the website below.
--Contact and/or attend your local City Council to express your concerns and ask them to take a stand against the P66 project.
--Contact the Planning Commission and your County Supervisor and tell her or him that you oppose the P66 project and want them to deny it. Email the Planning Commission at planning.co.slo.ca.us and call the Supervisors’ phone number at 805.781.5450.
--Volunteer with us to spread the word, attend public meetings, post a sign in your yard, etc.
CONTACT TO HELP OR INFORMATION