Letter to the Editor

Rail spurs concern

Arroyo GrandeDecember 11, 2013 

The Phillips 66 oil refinery, located on a 1,644-acre parcel off Highway 1 west of Nipomo, has operated since 1955.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

At first glance, the Phillips 66 rail spur project seems to be a South County issue. Until you read the recent articles in the Los Angeles Times and New Times SLO.

Put together, one learns that not only is a trainload (80 tanker cars) of oil going to be arriving almost every day, but they are likely to hold Bakken oil, which is more volatile. They will mostly come from the north, going right through our county. Further, if a spill/fire/explosion were to occur, there would most likely be no equipment or responders nearby to handle the situation.

All county residents should be concerned that the Union Pacific Railroad runs through many of our towns — from San Miguel to Nipomo. It also runs through farmland and environmentally sensitive coastal areas. Accidents are rare, but this area has had its share of oil-related accidents and train-related accidents.

The public is invited to a workshop, at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Middle School in San Luis Obispo, on the draft environmental impact report. This is your chance to provide comments; I hope you do so.

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