(Vallejo) Times-Herald

BENICIA -- A public meeting to help map out the environmental impact report for Valero's plan to bring in crude oil by rail to its Benicia refinery will be held Thursday.

The meeting's purpose is to help determine which issues will be addressed in the forthcoming report, which city officials agreed to prepare after an outpouring of public concern about the project, Benicia principal planner Amy Million said.

"It's to make sure the city staff is heading down the right path" with regard to addressing the public's concerns, Million said. She added that numerous public comment letters already received by the city will be considered.

The project involves a proposed rail facility that would allow Valero to receive up to 70,000 barrels of crude per day. Currently, the refinery receives crude by boat and pipeline.

Views on the project have been mixed, with supporters claiming it will generate jobs and allow Valero to become more competitive in global oil markets. Others, however, have expressed concerns about train spills, traffic jams at crossings and the use of dirtier North American crude stocks -- including controversial Canadian tar sands oil, regarded by some environmentalists as more polluting than other crudes.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 250 E. L St.



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