DAVIS (CBS13) — Davis residents spoke out on Tuesday against a plan to transport crude oil through their town in hopes of derailing the feds’ proposed project.
The possibility of 70,000 barrels of crude oil being transported by rail car through town every single day has residents on edge, dreading the worst.
“What’s actually on these cars? What’s the nature of this crude? How volatile is it?” said Mayor Joe Krovoza.
The mayor says those are the critically important questions facing the city as the City Council took up the matter for the first time on Tuesday.
The city of Benicia is considering a permit allowing its Valero refinery to transport crude oil from Roseville to Benicia by rail. That would take it through many cities, including Davis.
The mayor says some tracks in the area have manual switches, and there have been accidents in the past.
“If those tracks are going to be carrying hundreds of cars of crude oil through Davis every day, that’s absolutely a situation we can’t have in this community,” Krovoza said.
Last summer, a train carrying the highly explosive crude oil derailed in Quebec, killing 47 people and nearly wiping a town off the map.
The city is forming a coalition with other cities along the proposed route, and plans to reach out to federal representatives.
Benicia is set to release an environmental-impact report by next month. That means it’ll be months before anything actually starts up.