The disclosure caused public protests, but the company, Global Partners, says it’s following the law.
In the San Francisco Bay area, where the local air district in February issued a permit to operate a crude-by-rail project in Richmond without notice to the public or an environmental review, residents and environmental groups filed a lawsuit.
They are seeking a preliminary injunction and a suspension of the air permit, pending a full environmental review.
“We feel that we were deliberately deceived by the permitting authority,” said Andres Soto, the Richmond organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, an environmental justice group that’s a plaintiff in the case.
“The delivery of this product right next to schools, to neighborhoods, where literally you can throw a rock and hit these rail cars, presents a clear danger to literally thousands of residents,” Soto said.
The fears are shared by many in Vancouver, where officials received more than 33,000 public comments about the project — detailing feared impacts to air quality, wildlife, recreation, tribal treaty rights, and home values, among others.
After a review, state officials will make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say.