Letters to the Editor

Planning Commission has a duty to protect SLO County from Phillips 66

A rally protesting Phillips 66’s proposal to bring crude oil by rail to its Nipomo refinery was held in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Here, protesters march down Santa Barbara Street toward the Amtrak train station.
A rally protesting Phillips 66’s proposal to bring crude oil by rail to its Nipomo refinery was held in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Here, protesters march down Santa Barbara Street toward the Amtrak train station. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

I am shocked at the lack of concern that many public officials have displayed relevant to the significant health and safety risks to San Luis Obispo County citizens and the environment posed by building the Phillips 66 rail spur.

The oil trains that Phillips 66 proposes to bring to its Nipomo Mesa refinery have already proven to be not only a highly flammable risk if derailed, but also simply by traversing the tracks, the toxins they spew would result in a calculable increase in lung and heart diseases, as well as cancers, in our community.

One citizen, who spoke before the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission, presented photographs of Union Pacific rail bridges of all sizes in the county, selected because he could easily reach them to photograph. Not one was in good repair.

None appeared structurally sound enough to hold one of these monster trains, which are significantly heavier than those that currently run on Union Pacific tracks in our county.

We look to the county Planning Commission to uphold its duty to the greater community to keep us safe and to guard our health and our environment by denying the building of the rail spur.

Kay Gore, Arroyo Grande

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