SLO County staff seeking denial of Phillips 66 rail spur

January 27, 2016

train carSan Luis Obispo County staff is recommending denial of Phillips 66’s proposal to build a rail spur so that crude oil currently delivered by pipeline could be transported to the Nipomo facility by rail.

The proposed rail spur project includes a 6,915-foot long rail spur, an unloading facility, on-site pipelines, replacement of coke rail loading tracks, and the construction of five parallel tracks with the capacity to hold a 5,190-foot-long unit train. The SLO County Planning Commission will consider the proposal at a hearing on Feb. 4 and 5.

In a report released late Monday, staff said that the rail spur could result in oil spills and fires which could impact natural resources and agriculture. In addition, the report said that the project would generate toxic air emissions that exceed San Luis Obispo County health risk thresholds.

Multiple government bodies and members of the public, including the San Luis Obispo City Council, have sent letters asking the county to deny the proposed project. In all, the county has received over 24,000 letters opposing the project and only about 150 letters in favor of the proposed rail-spur.



  1. Pelican1 says:

    How is it, we have safely sent men to the moon and back and sent many men and women into space aboard the shuttle but we cant develop an equally safe way to transport oil…very strange.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • Ted Slanders says:

      We have, the tank cars are being built at this time along with other safety precautions that are safer than shipping it by truck.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. slomike says:

    So unanimous turndown by the board?

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
  3. SamLouis says:

    The opposition to the Phillips 66 rail spur is nothing more than a bunch of extremists struggling to bring meaning to their lives by opposing the spur. They truly think they are doing something worthwhile. They believe they are helping. This is their sad excuse of a religion.

    We hear tales about “blast zones”, and mythical “oil spills” and “fires”. In reality we should be talking about NIMBYism, existing pipelines and existing rail transport of toxic chemicals and how they all compare to this project.

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  4. Ted Slanders says:

    “In a report released late Monday, staff said that the rail spur could result in oil spills and fires which could impact natural resources and agriculture. In addition, the report said that the project would generate toxic air emissions that exceed San Luis Obispo County health risk thresholds.”

    This statement is so inept and wishy-washy that it makes me laugh. Key words; “could and would”

    It has yet to be answered by the San Luis Obispo County staff and the San Luis Obispo City Council in what they intend to do relative to the hazardous materials that are shipped though our county by truck on existing roads and highways in the same vein as the proposed oil trains. Guess what, both modes of hazardous material transportation have the same DOT hazardous materials placards posted on them! Now what? Are these aforementioned government entities going to make a stand at the county borders, and tell these hazardous trucks to turn back because they “could” result in said infractions as mentioned? Yes?

    If these governmental entities are so concerned with safety and the well being of it’s populace, then why do they remain silent upon hazardous material trucks through our area that pose even a greater threat by transporting very dangerous materials, that if discharged, would make oil trains look like a Boy Scout picnic?

    No, I am not going to mention Diablo sitting on an earthquake fault that “could” emit very toxic air waste, nor the hazardous fumes at SLO county airport that do admit dangerous air fumes, nor gasoline trucks delivering refined fuel from those oil trains that “could” explode. Lest we forget about the other gas entities within the county that “would” blow up under the right conditions (propane, etc.) All this would do is hinder the San Luis Obispo Staff and SLO City Council into being even more hypocritical and would prevent them from totally being biased towards their agenda.

    The irony, “other hazardous” materials are shipped by train through San Luis Obispo County by rail, when is this SLO staff and SLO City Council going to take up this agenda as well? They don’t want to be called hypocrites, do they?

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  5. injustice_to_bees says:

    0.6% in favor and 99.4% against. That seems pretty big defeat for the project.

    (1) 17 Total Votes - 9 up - 8 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Well, I guess it’s time to stop using any and oil based products. No one wants to drill for it off shore…or on shore, No one wants a pipeline or a rail spur. Add in the fact that people are opposed to wind and solar farms, nuke power, and fracking.
    Simon says….take ten steps backwards.

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
    • injustice_to_bees says:

      I dont know a lot of people advocating a return to the stone age. I think you will see a new power grid being built to handle the renewables that are coming online despite the massive world-wide glut of oil currently. High Volage Direct Current (HVDC) will mean smaller cable, lower losses to heat, power gets from wherever its sunny or windy to whatever grid needs it. Come on people ….. We can do this!

      (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
      • SamLouis says:

        You believe that HVDC is an answer to energy independence? Really? It’s old technology that never really panned out.

        (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
    • just the facts says:

      For the record…the opposition to the Phillips 66 rail spur is part of a national movement to stop all American energy independence. Pelican, you are correct…no drilling on and off shore, no fracking, no pipelines or rail spurs, no nuclear power, and even no wind and solar farms.

      Heard thru the grapevine that the opposition to the rail spur will be busing activists from Los Angeles and San Francisco to the upcoming Planning Commission meeting. Interesting to note that the activists will not be riding their bikes to the meeting, but taking the bus! Just a reminder to all, for the buses to make a round trip, they need to ‘fill it up’
      at the gas station!

      (5) 25 Total Votes - 15 up - 10 down

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