Hearing to cover proposed trucking plan
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing today in Santa Maria regarding ExxonMobil’s plan for interim trucking of crude oil on area highways.
The county planning commission has recommended the board deny Exxon’s interim trucking project in part due to “unavoidable impacts” on biological, cultural and water resources in the event of potential oil spills.
Exxon’s modified project plan included interim trucking of crude oil to the Santa Maria Pump Station until its estimated shutdown in 2023. The plan would include an estimate of 78 round trips per day, seven days a week.
The plan would then pivot to the Pentland Terminal either for seven years or until a pipeline becomes available. This would require about 34 round trips per day when the SMPS has temporarily shut down or 68 round trips per day when it has been permanently closed, according to a prepared presentation.
ExxonMobil’s plan set an annual limit of 24,820 trucks.
Exxon has said the plan would bring additional revenue and trucking jobs to the area. Representatives also said the plan would be a better environmental choice because it would reduce the amount of oil shipped into the U.S. from foreign countries.
But the planning commission’s findings, which recommended denial, said the proposed project would only have a trivial impact on domestic oil use and demand. The commission also said there was not enough evidence to show the project would increase local jobs or expenditures at area businesses.
The planning commission is asking that the Board of Supervisors “finds that there is not substantial evidence in the record to support a determination that the benefits of the project outweigh the project’s significant and unmitigable impacts on the environment.”
ExxonMobil’s current permit for the Las Flores Canyon facility stipulates that oil transportation can only be done by pipeline unless the entitlement is changed.
The Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc areas set a new record Monday with the average for regular unleaded gas reaching $5.287 and diesel hitting $5.648, according to the American Automobile Association.
In comparison, California’s average was $5.343 as of Monday, per AAA data.
Today’s Board of Supervisors meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and will be held at the Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria.
People can also attend the meeting virtually. The meeting will be televised on local cable channel 20 and live-streamed at countyofsb.org/ceo/csbtv/livestream.sbc and youtube.com/user/CSBTV20.
The board consists of Supervisors Das Williams, Gregg Hart, Joan Hartmann, Bob Nelson and Steve Lavagnino.
For more information, go to www.countyofsb.org/bos.email: firstname.lastname@example.org