SACRAMENTO -- A trio of committees of the state Legislature will discuss the mounting local risks of the transport of crude oil by rail at a hearing Thursday morning that will be webcast live.
There will be segments on regulatory overview, risk on the ground, and community and industry perspectives. Federal, state and local officials as well as officials of industry groups, environmental organizations, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and UC-Berkeley School of Law will participate.
Topics to be covered include gaps in federal regulations and voluntary industry practices, the state of preparedness of first responders and other local agencies, the sharing of information, and the scope of future crude-by-rail projects and the risks they pose to communities.
The joint oversight hearing, by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, and the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, will be co-chaired by state Senators Fran Pavley and Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro.
It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the John L. Burton Hearing Room at the state Capitol.
The hearing can be followed at http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/.
In the Bay area, Valero Refining Co. wants to build a crude-by-rail unloading facility at its Benicia refinery. Also pending are an oil storage and transfer installation in Pittsburg by WesPac Energy and Oiltanking Holding Americas, with rail, marine and pipeline components, and a crude-by-rail unloading facility at the Phillips 66 refinery in Santa Maria that could involve bringing in crude by rail from Canada or the Midwest via the Capitol Corridor.
Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at Twitter.com/tomlochner.