When Mr. Bob Kittle comments that Ms. Linda Reynolds represents a special-interest group, exactly who is he talking about (“Reckless hyperbole,” Aug. 25)?
Thirty municipalities and school districts along the Union Pacific Mainline, as well as professional organizations, have written to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission in opposition to the existential danger that toxic and volatile crude oil trains present to their communities. They want to protect the health and safety of their communities and, yes, their economic viability, too. Because should there be an apocalyptic disaster similar to any of the more than 48 derailments and fiery explosions that have occurred in the past two years in the U.S. and Canada, there would be an arc of devastation for miles with millions expended in cleanup costs anywhere along the rail line.
As to a specific safety issue; there are 11 Class 1 impacts that cannot be mitigated. Here are but two of them:
Operational activities at the Phillips 66 refinery associated with the rail spur project would generate toxic emissions that exceed county Air Pollution Control District thresholds.
Operational activities of trains along the mainline rail route associated with the rail spur project would generate toxic emissions that exceed thresholds.
The only special interest here is Phillips 66.