Letters to the Editor

Phillips 66 plan would make air quality worse

My husband and I live on the Nipomo Mesa and, as most locals know, springtime brings gale-force winds to the Central Coast. Air pollution from microscopic particulate matter coming off the Oceano Dunes can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe, especially on very windy days.

To make matters worse, Phillips 66 wants to build a crude oil train unloading facility right here on the Nipomo Mesa. This will bring milelong oil trains to the Phillips 66 refinery three times per week.

Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., diesel locomotives will be spewing their toxic emissions into the atmosphere while they idle. Mixing diesel particulates with the existing bad air will make living on the Mesa unbearable for many people.

Phillips 66 claims the air quality impacts associated with their project can be mitigated at their refinery. What about the air quality of the surrounding areas? How can diesel locomotive exhaust be contained within the refinery? It can’t be. Making our air quality worse can be avoided.

San Luis Obispo County officials can and should deny the Phillips 66 project. The SLO County Planning Commission has the opportunity to do exactly this on May 16.

Sandy DuBow, Nipomo

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