Dianne Black will make the decision by Wednesday, as Planning and Development Director Glenn Russell has recused himself due to conflict of interest.
1) Rally: "Not by Pipelines, nor Trains, nor Tanker Trucks! Renewable Energy Now!"
This Monday, June 8 at 12 noon (Bring signs and chants!), in Santa Barbara at the County Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 1100 Anacapa St, and in Santa Maria: at City Hall, 110 East Cook St at Broadway.
2) Attend SB County Board of Supervisors Budget Hearing, on Wednesday, June 10, either 11am or 1pm (RSVP to email@example.com for a time update). Ask them to allocate funds to Community Choice Energy! This is our region's best chance to decrease our dependence on dirty fossil fuels locally. Santa Barbara: 105 East Anapamu St. 4th floor. Santa Maria: 511 East Lakeside Pkwy.
GCC and Naples Coalition letter urging denial of emergency trucking application
Director Russell and County Staff:
Please accept this brief communication regarding the proposed Emergency Permit requested by Exxon for trucking of oil from the Las Flores Canyon Facility.
On behalf of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy and Naples Coalition, we oppose this application and ask that you deny it. There are both inadequate justifications, and an incomplete submittal. The California Environmental Quality Act mandates environmental review of the application, and the request does not qualify for CEQA’s emergency exemption, which clearly requires a “clear and imminent danger demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of . . . essential public services. CEQA Guidelines sec 15359.
The applicant’s contrived justification clearly fails this test. There is no imminent danger – only a future gas shortage, if the application were to be believed. The application states there are at least 30 days before wells must be shut in, allowing time for SoCalGas to address the potential shortfall. Significantly, summer is our low natural gas use period, so demand is reduced. Finally, the County recently approved and SoCalGas has completed a substantial expansion of its reservoir capacity at the La Goleta Plant with one of the justifications being to be able to weather supply interruptions. The applicant’s justification is untenable and fails to qualify as an emergency under CEQA and the coastal zoning ordinance.
Any future natural gas shortfall cannot meet CEQA’s definition of an emergency, and thus no exemption is available and this proposal is subject to complete environmental review. The project entails a number of potentially significant impacts to air quality, public safety, traffic and circulation, ESHA and biological resources, visual resources, recreational resources and is inconsistency with land use policies adopted to protect the environment. Similarly under the County’s zoning ordinances, the situation does not justify the findings of emergency necessary to approve proposed permit.
GCC and the Naples Coalition are deeply concerned with the risks associated with handling of crude oil and natural gas, with toxic air emissions, with the loss of recreational resources from increased traffic, from impacts to the Gaviota Coast’s visual resources from additional industrialization and a constant flow of trucks, risks to terrestrial and marine habitat, impacts to cultural and spiritual resources, and the increased potential for another oil spill from the facility or from the trucks.
We ask that you deny this application.
Please place this office on the mailing list to receive notice of your decision in this matter and any related proceedings.
For Gaviota Coast Conservancy and Naples Coalition