Friday, May 20, 2016

San Luis Obispo Supervisors Narrowly Back Oil Train Terminal

San Luis Obispo County Supervisors informally approved on Monday a controversial oil train terminal proposed for the Phillips 66 refinery at the coastal town of Nipomo. The company seeks to bring in trainloads of oil from the Canadian tar sands and from North Dakota. In doing so, the county went against the recommendation of its own planning commission staff to deny a conditional use permit because of the negative environmental consequences documented in an environmental review of the project. The board did not take a formal vote but ordered staff to come up with mitigations that will allow the project to go forward. The specter of mile-long oil trains, a history of derailments in other places, and the potential for future disasters, has prompted citizen groups and municipal governments around the state to lend their opposition to the project. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.