SLO City Council asks county to reject rail spur

February 19, 2015

rail oilThe San Luis Obispo City Council on Tuesday authorized Mayor Jan Marx to write a letter to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission asking it to deny the proposed Phillips 66 Nipomo rail spur project.

“The City of San Luis Obispo is situated in an especially vulnerable area due to curvature of the rail line and rail cross over as the line passes through our densely populated residential and commercial areas…,” Marx says in her letter. “Our firefighters and emergency response or hazmat teams are not funded or equipped to deal with the magnitude of a rail disaster, which would become more likely if the project were approved.”

Phillips 66 is seeking to build the rail spur so that crude oil currently delivered by pipeline could be transported to the Nipomo facility by rail. Phillips 66 is seeking permission to bring in a maximum of about 250 trains each year.

Officials from Phillips 66 said the refining process and the amount of oil will not change if the 1.3 miles of track and unloading facility is approved.

Opponents of the project voice concerns over air pollution, quality of life, and environmental and safety impacts if there is a spill.

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I would like to vaguely compare this to the proposed Las Pilitas quarry in Santa Margarita.

Most of the proponents of the quarry do not live in Santa Margarita (except the ones that stand to make a buck). They cry foul to the opponents and decree them as NIMBY’s

But some of this same pro quarry group spew similar concerns about the Phillips oil trains in their BACKYARD.

What a bunch of HIPPOCRITES!

BTW… the same oil trains will also pass through Santa Margarita!

If people only knew what goes thru their communities everyday on the railroad and the freeway they might be happy that they knew when and where it would be on the rails.

Put hazardous chemicals in pipelines…it makes the most sense for public safety the environment and the cost of transport. What has happened to us? are we so hampered by nonsensical group think that we can’t even do the right thing for the safety of the citizenry? I can carry an egg from the refrigerator to the pan on the tip of my nose or I can carry it in my hand. Seem’s simple enough to me. And I didn’t even attend Harvard…lol

Can you say Keystone? aaahahahahahaha

Soon the only jobs available will be city, county, or state…all public employers.

Nothing else will be deemed acceptable, safe, environmentally friendly enough, or worthy of existing in SLO county.

Soon??? That day is long past.

This statement is not true: “the refining process and the amount of oil will not change if the 1.3 miles of track and unloading facility is approved.”

P66 was granted a permit to increase its production by 10% a year and a half ago, they have yet to meet the conditions of that approval and have not refined the extra crude to date.

These two projects should have been considered as one and the impacts associated with both projects are cumulative in nature. P66 bifurcated CEQA, the county allowed it, which is against the law.

Oil and refined products move safely by rail and pipeline in what must be 99.99999% of travel trips or miles? The occasional incident doesn’t seem to kill people except in some wildly unlikely rare event. Fearmongering to prevent progress and orderly commerce is a bad thing. Just what we would expect from the SLO City Council. The council’s vote is wrong.


When will this county stop trying to kill and control everything?

We wouldn’t have roads or highways if current statistics on freeway accidents and deaths were available prior to construction.

What next, prohibit people from riding bikes? We all know how many accidents have claimed the lives of riders lately.

Rail cars have a history of derailments, pipelines can be built with double walls for monitoring so that structural integrity is maintained. Long tankers on rail are not safe within a populated area and can be very disruptive to emergency vehicles.


So true. Just ask those in Santa Margarita whose main water well is 50 feet or less (and below) the main Southern Pacific Railroad line that passes through town. That line is even closer to the SM Fire Dept, a lumber yard and several other businesses.

And that well is very shallow, similar to the thinking of SLO County staff and the BOS who allowed (or gave away) our 200 Ac Foot allotment of water from Santa Margarita Lake to the City of SLO in the late 90’s.