and Celebrate Earth Day
Lunch through Dinner
Velasco's will generously donate a portion of the sales to our cause.
Corner of Washington and Kentucky in Petaluma
Meet up, catch up on what's happening re:
Dutra asphalt factory challenge -
Eat great Mexican Food! Drink excellent Margaritas!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Final Appellants' Reply Brief filed in Court of Appeals
City of Petaluma, et al., v. County of Sonoma, The Dutra Group, et al.
The final Appellants' Reply Brief has been filed in 1st District Court of Appeals on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 25, 2012
This is the last filing of briefs in the appeal of Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Chouteau's decision in the suit against the County's approvals of the Dutra Asphalt Plant adjacent to Shollenberger Park just south of Petaluma. The plaintiffs have filed the Appeals Brief and the County and Dutra filed Opposition Briefs.
The date for the trial at the Court of Appeals is still somewhat in the future: the Court of Appeals may take several months before actually setting the trial date, and the trial date could be as much as a year from now.
The Plaintiffs believe that we have a very strong case on appeal, focusing on several of the trial issues and rulings.
1. The Dutra properties are in the flood plain, and were improperly rezoned from commercial to industrial use. This is a direct violation of requirements of the Sonoma County General Plan.
2. The Dutra asphalt plant Project is not river dependent, yet were approved despite this basic inconsistency with clear requirements of the County's General Plan.
The Project depends on receiving shipments of aggregate and sand from the adjacent Shamrock operations, initially by truck for up to 3 years, then delivered by a conveyor belt.
Yet Shamrock has continually insisted that they have no interest and no agreement to provide aggregate or sand to Dutra. The County cannot compel Shamrock to do so. The Dutra Project has no feasible river barge access themselves (due to navigational hazards and existing high pressure gas pipelines), so deliveries would only be by truck.
3. The air pollution emitted from the Dutra Project were inaccurately calculated by the County and Dutra, by using the wrong baseline for emissions.
The pollutants discharged from the closed temporary Dutra asphalt plant almost a mile away were wrongly credited against the new plant's pollutants. This artificial 'baseline' makes it seem as if the new levels of pollution and their impacts would be lower.
4. The Final EIR did not accurately describe the final revised and County-approved Project, nor properly analyze and address its impacts, particularly the use of the Shamrock property and its aggregate supply methods, traffic, air quality, worker health, and wetlands impacts. The County refused to circulate a Revised EIR. The public was deprived of its right to examine and provide comments to the Board of Supervisors before they made any decisions on approvals.
5. The County violated the Brown Act by refusing to allow the public to speak about the revised Project at the final hearing of the Board of Supervisors. Despite the last minute release of a series of new Project changes, reports and a new Final EIR, the public was silenced.
We are optimistic about the judicial review that will come from the Court of Appeals. We look forward to the trial. We are determined to safeguard the health of our residents, businesses, visitors and wildlife. Many people and businesses have come to enjoy and benefit from Shollenberger Park and the increased use of the Petaluma River.
The Dutra Asphalt plant should never have been proposed for the Gateway to Petaluma and Sonoma County. We are grateful to the overwhelming support from our community in this challenge. We appreciate the City's participation in the original lawsuit and this appeal.
One final note: While most all Petaluma City Council members have strongly supported going forth with the appeal, we are aware that some people have wavered, citing the city's costs. Most recently, City Council candidate Kathy Miller told SCCA in interview that she would not support continued city participation in the lawsuit and appeal. This position is unmerited, as it fails to recognize the generous donation of $5000 from Moms for Clean Air to the City towards the costs of the appeal, and the pledge of another $5000 from Friends of Shollenberger. If the City were to adopt that position and leave the appeal, there would be no chance for the City to recover its legal costs when we win.
We are proud of our community, both in and beyond Petaluma, for its strong and continued support. We have borne the lion's share of the costs of the case, and are looking forward to our victory.
Why Should We Fight?
Time and again the American public has been told that something that brings benefit only to large corporations is harmless and/or legal.
Remember when pregnant women were told smoking was okay? Health and safety regulations usually lag years-sometimes decades- behind what science tells us is true.
Health and Particulate Matter:
As we learned from UCSF Pediatric Environmental Health Specialist Dr. Brock-Utne at the October 2010 Health Care Forum regarding the impacts of the Dutra project, current regulatory standards may not reflect the recently established medical research demonstrating that particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) from diesel emissions (trucks) has a very detrimental effect on health, especially in children.
PM2.5 reaches the lower lungs, then the bloodstream and cells of us all. In children it disrupts the normal development of the immune system, changing the way their DNA is read, making them more prone to asthma as well as respiratory and food allergies. Since carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)-another emission of asphalt plants-can attach to PM2.5 for a free ride into the body, exposure to emissions from a Dutra plant would increase the risk that Petaluma’s children would develop cancer later in life. This is especially true of children living or attending school in East Petaluma, downwind of the plant. There are dozens of schools within a three-mile radius of the project site. Newer medical research further demonstrates that PM2.5 is linked to diabetes, heart disease and other serious illnesses. In addition oxides of nitrogen (NOx) – another type of diesel emission – have been linked to breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is important to remember that the Dutra project was approved by the Board of Supervisors even though NOx emissions from the Dutra plant exceed current regulatory standards.
There are 5 schools less than 1 mile from the project site including the new River Montessori School. 20 schools that are within 2 miles, 18 schools within 3 miles and 17 schools less than 10 miles from the proposed project site. The majority of these schools are preschool and elementary aged children. Click HERE to see how close your child's school is to the asphalt plant project.
Monitoring Regulations and Mitigations:
From the serious impact of coal mining on the health of surrounding communities to the horrific gas pipe explosion and fire in San Bruno, devastating examples of government failure to update and regulate are far too common.
Although the Draft Environmental Impact Report accurately reported a PGE gas pipeline on Dutra's property, the County failed to notice when Dutra's project engineer supplied permit mapping erroneously moving 2 PG&E gas pipelines on the adjacent Shamrock property. The county didn't take corrective action and allowed the project to improperly and extremely dangerously place a barge facility over the PG&E gas pipelines. Had that been built, we could have seen a San Bruno-type disaster.
Given such an egregious oversight, how can we believe that the county would monitor the more than 160 regulations and mitigations in this project that are supposed to protect our health and safety?
Traffic Congestion and Diesel Trucks
This project never was and never will be appropriate for this location. Dutra’s project proposes 250 diesel truck trips going in AND 250 diesel truck trips going out of the asphalt plant daily. This number would be considerably higher for the first three years of operation during which Dutra is not required to use the river for transport. The increase in traffic congestion entering and exiting Petaluma will be unimaginable. The
Project Must be River Dependent:
Dutra has no docking facility. After erroneously supplying the Coast Guard with the wrong river maps the Coast Guard determined that the proposed docking facility on the Dutra property would unsafely impede river traffic. They now plan to use Shamrock’s existing dock, even though the court record shows a letter from Shamrock stating it is not in Shamrock’s best business interests to do so. There is no contract between Shamrock and Dutra. If Dutra can’t have a dock of their own and Shamrock won’t let them use their dock, what will happen in three years? The Supervisors have said that this project MUST be river dependent. Will the County force Dutra to stop asphalt production and tear down their buildings - just pack up and go home when they can’t use the river? Highly unlikely. Petaluma could be stuck with this increase in diesel truck traffic and pollution for decades.
Measure D – Scenic Corridor:
This ruling is the first assault on Measure D. Measure D was a 1998 ballot measure approved by a super majority of the Sonoma County voters, which created a scenic view corridor from the Marin County line to the Petaluma City limits. This ruling degrading that ballot measure would empower the County Supervisors to approve further industrial uses in the scenic corridor. Again, this could affect our community for decades.
Shollenberger Park and Alman Marsh are home to hundreds of birds and wildlife. Visitors come from distant places to enjoy and see the wildlife in migratory season and year-round. Shollenberger Park is a migratory stopover for thousands of birds. National Geographic lists Shollenberger Park as a top destination to visit along the Northern California Coast. Shollenberger Park has become an important ecotourism attraction for Petaluma. Hundreds of school children participate in the Petaluma Wetlands education program each year at the park. A heavy industrial asphalt operation 200 feet from Shollenberger Park would ruin all of this. The Federally Endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse lives in Alman Marsh and Shollenberger Park, feeding on the abundant natural pickleweed habitat. The Federally Endangered Clapper Rail and State Threatened Black Rail nest in and reside in Alman Marsh and at Ellis Creek right next to Shollenberger Park. Protecting wildlife, including endangered and threatened species, from the intense, ongoing noise and excessive ground vibration that would be caused by Dutra's construction and operations is essential. Protecting wildlife from the noise, lights, human activity and heavy industrial operations that could devastate wildlife habitat at Shollenberger Park and Alman Marsh, is something we must work to achieve - so our children and wildlife can enjoy the quiet, peaceful repose and natural life that makes this area our precious natural jewel.
The City must defend and protect our multi-million dollar investments in Shollenberger Park, Alman Marsh, Ellis Creek and the new wastewater treatment plant. The tax dollars of our residents cannot be thrown away. The litigation record has been completed and paid for by the community. The cost of appeal is a small percentage of what we have already invested. The City could lose the $1,000,000 it receives (every year) in transient occupancy taxes (tourism dollars) from people that come to Petaluma specifically to visit Shollenberger Park. They stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our shops.
Judge Chouteau echoes the thoughts of former Supervisor Paul Kelley stating that this area of south county is an industrial site. Clearly they have not seen the Marina, Shollenberger Park or the new Riverview home development. There is a reason appellate courts exist- to reverse flawed decisions such as this.
Remind the City Council that each one of them stated they would not support this project. Remind them of their campaign promises. Tell them not to let a ruling out of the Sonoma County Court scare them. Tell City Council why YOU don’t want an asphalt plant at the entrance to Petaluma.
Call, write and email the City Council. Take a few minutes to fight for what is right.
Council Member Email Address Mailing Address Phone Number Term Expires
PO Box 61
Petaluma, CA 94953
PO Box 61
Petaluma, CA 94953
PO Box 901
Petaluma, CA 94953
PO Box 751361
Petaluma, CA 94975
304 Kentucky St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
PO Box 61
Petaluma, CA 94953
PO Box 750536
Petaluma, CA 94975-036
It is with great dismay and surprise to report that the coalition of organizations (Moms for Clean Air, Friends of Shollenberger Park, Madrone Audubon Society, Petaluma River Council, Petaluma Tomorrow etc.), several individuals and the City of Petaluma have lost the first round of the legal battle against the placement of the Dutra asphalt plant project at the gateway to the County of Sonoma and the City of Petaluma. Earlier this week we received notice that Judge Choteau ruled against clean air, our children's health and future, wildlife, open space, tourism and our community and decided it is acceptable to place a toxin-emitting asphalt plant across from our most valued park and downwind from schools. While we regroup and discuss next steps we wanted to thank everyone that have support the battle thus far. We want to thank the City of Petaluma, Mayor Glass, former Mayor Torliatt and the entire past and current City Council for their continued leadership. It is rare for a County government to disregard a City within their boundaries as the Supervisors have done here. We are honored to continue to stand with the City as we move forward. All of us at Moms for Clean Air are committed to our position that this project is legally flawed and unhealthy for the health of our residents, the health of the City's economy and dangerously close to Shollenberger Park. We look forward to updating you on our efforts soon. It is far from over! Until then, Happy New Year!
From all of us at Moms for Clean Air.
We are very disappointed by Judge Chouteau's failure to find in favor of our
community coalition's legal challenge to protect Shollenberger Park, the
Petaluma River and our community's health and economy. Judge Chouteau has rejected our plea to preserve the gateway to Sonoma County from blight and
protect the people of Petaluma from Dutra's industrial pollution.
Judge Chouteau has dismissed all of our claims, and seems to have adopted
county counsel's and Dutra's attorney's arguments without question.
1) Judge Chouteau has mistakenly written off Shollenberger Park and the
upper Petaluma River as an industrial blighted area that merits no further
protections or care. This is – contrary to its status as the most popular
park in Petaluma and a recognized National Geographic destination.
2) He chose to overlook the increased health risks caused by toxic air
pollution from many thousands of Dutra's diesel trucks, tugs and asphalt
manufacturing. He has rejected the legally required standards for
measuring toxic emissions from the project at its proposed location. He
asserted that CEQA cannot be used to address impacts to workers' health at
3) Despite Shamrock Materials sworn unwillingness to allow their dock to
receive Dutra's aggregate deliveries, Judge Chouteau accepted the County's
argument that the project could be approved as "river dependent".
4. He failed to address what would happen after the first three years with
Dutra's truck-only deliveries of aggregate, as permitted by the County, if
no barge delivery through Shamrock's permitted tonnage capacity was agreed to or feasible. Would Dutra be shut down without river deliveries? Would they just continue with thousands of truck trips? He refused to tell us how that should or would work.
5. Judge Chouteau refused to respect the integrity of the county-wide
voters' 1998 approval of Measure D, establishing the Petaluma/Novato
Community Separator. This voter-approved mandate, like Urban Growth
Boundaries for all our cities, protects the entrance to Sonoma County, from
the county line to Petaluma's Urban Service Boundary, from intensified
development along the 101 corridor. The County, and now this judge, have
mistakenly left Dutra's parcels unprotected against industrial development
with an asphalt factory.
The plaintiffs' coalition of non-profits, individuals, and the City of
Petaluma will now consider the next steps, including possibly appealing
Judge Chouteau's ruling. Our attorneys at Lozeau/Drury feel we have many
legal issues that could find merit at a higher court. So far, we believe
that this judge's decision should be overturned.
The community's efforts to save Shollenberger Park, our River, Petaluma's
health and economic vitality are not over yet. Our city, community and
extended family have supported these battles for several years, and will
not give up now.
Your donations to fund the appeal are requested from all of you who love
Shollenberger Park, value clean air, and what makes Petaluma attractive and
strong. We are offended by Dutra's two 62 ft. asphalt storage towers and
thousands of trucks wafting trails of toxic and stinking asphalt smoke as
a landmark marking the Gateway to our fair city and county.
We will never give up fighting to preserve and protect Shollenberger Park.
Richard Drury, Lozeau/Drury LLP, (510) 836-4202
Joan Cooper, Friends of Shollenberger, (415) 516-3673
David Keller, Petaluma River Council, (707) 763-9336
by Open.Spaces Blogger, Joan Cooper
A walk at Shollenberger Park can transport you from the daily round of chores, work, worries and future plans into the world of a living, breathing high elevation salt marsh. Red-winged blackbirds, shovelers, mute swans and many more critters are going about their busy lives: feeding, dabbling, flying, chirping and inspiring human visitors to cherish nature.
On Jan. 14, 2011 a lawsuit was filed by a coalition of community groups, The City of Petaluma, and several citizens to reverse the Sonoma Supervisors’ (3-2) vote to approve the Dutra asphalt factory (Dec. 14, 2010.)
After reading the 60-page document, which details the procedural errors and CEQA omissions (California Environmental Act), I needed a walk. I went out to Shollenberger to remind myself why I, along with thousands of local citizens, the unanimous Petaluma City Council, five Sonoma County city councils and numerous local environmental community groups, all oppose the approval of the Dutra asphalt factory at this sensitive location (Haystack Landing.)
Looking south from the walking loop path at Shollenberger, I saw nothing but pond water, vegetation, wetlands, wildlife and the horizon beyond. This is a scenic view looking down the sights of history to a glimpse of what used to be before diking, industry, and man disrupted the salt marsh eco system. This vista is there because Sonoma County voters protected it in 1998 by a supermajority, voting to create a Scenic View Corridor. We’re not so dumb, we Sonoma voters, because we realized then that this experience, this vista, is priceless and should be saved as the rich heritage of our children and for the common good.
1 of 6
The lawsuit addresses the (Final Environmental Impact Report) FEIR’s lack of cumulative air quality analysis and missing health risk analysis. It questions the unavoidable impacts on wildlife (noise, lights) and people (traffic) and all living things (air quality degraded by 2.5 particulate matter and excessive NOx levels http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx). It points out the County’s failure to properly circulate the FEIR to the public and refusal to allow the public to comment on the FEIR at the final hearing. The CEQA process, which was put into law to protect the environment and the public’s right to take part in the process, was not respected.
Three Supervisors (Kerns, Kelley, and Carrillo) also rezoned Dutra’s parcels to limited industrial from limited commercial, Dairy Belt, and Scenic View Corridor to accommodate an industrial factory. Judge Rene Chouteau, Sonoma County Superior Court, will decide whether or not they have the jurisdiction to override the voter’s mandate to protect this view corridor. Only Sup. Efren Carrillo remains on the Board to face the consequences of his decision.
It’s only common sense that a public park and a wild life preserve should not be degraded by industry. The costs to public open space and existing and future residential development will come out of the public’s side of the ledger –a decrease in fresh air, a decrease in quietude, a decrease in healthy eco-system, a decrease in tourist dollars - an increase in medical bills, an increase in traffic jams, an increase in noxious odors.
To help preserve and protect the Petaluma wetlands, donate whatever you can to Friends of Shollenberger. Help fund the legal costs of this lawsuit. Send checks to
PO Box 2114, Petaluma, Ca. 94953. Make checks payable to O.W.L. Foundation, memo: Friends of Shollenberger. Go to saveshollenberger.com for more information and on-line donations.
Take the long view to a greener, healthier future. Take a walk at Shollenberger Park.
A Lawsuit Has Been Filed
The City of Petaluma, The Petaluma River Council, Friends of, Moms for Clean Air, , Tomorrow, and several concerned individuals have joined together to challenge the flawed vote of the Sonoma Board of Supervisors to approve the Dutra apshalt factory. Now is the time for the community to increase our efforts to protect our local environment as part of a broader healthier eco-system for the future. (See the press release below).
To help with this lawsuit, we need your donations. The financial burden witll rest with the citizens and citizen groups opposed to this project. You may go to our website to use our paypal link (paypal account or credit card) or you may mail checks payable to Moms for Clean Air to: P.O. Box 750066, Petaluma, CA 94975. Recurring donations via Pay Pal are appreciated, as this will be an ongoing fight.
HELP US RAISE MONEY WHILE CELEBRATING OUR 2ND ANNIVERSARY!
JANUARY 26TH FROM 5:30 TO 9:30PM at CENTRAL MARKET!
When you mention Moms for Clean Air, a portion of your evening's proceeds will go to Moms for Clean Air to help us fund this lawsuit and our fight against this project.
Reservations are strongly requested.
What you can do to help:
1) Donate today!
2) Write letters to the Editor of our local newspapers and any/all other publications in support of the opposition.
3) Link our website, publish it in your organization's newsletter or website, or your business's website and encourage people to donate.
4) Forward this site to friends and associates to help grow our mailing list
For Immediate Release: January 14, 2011, Petaluma, Calif.
Destructive Dutra Asphalt Plant Challenged
The City of Petaluma, community groups and individual citizens seek a legal remedy to protect the environment from Dutra's asphalt plant construction and operations at Haystack Landing, Petaluma, Calif.
Today, the City of Petaluma and a large coalition of citizen groups
and individuals have filed a lawsuit challenging the Sonoma County
Board of Supervisors' flawed approval , of the Dutra Haystack Landing Asphalt and Recycling Plant. The Plaintiffs maintain that the Dutra Asphalt Plant would blight the gateway to and Petaluma, harm the health of residents, businesses and visitors, and negatively impact the development of our local and regional economy. The factory would injure and discourage birds, fish and wildlife which use the Petaluma River and Marsh. Plaintiffs also assert that the Dutra factory operations would also destroy the peace, beauty and appeal of the very popular and adjacent Shollenberger Park.
After actively participating in the County's review and approvals
process over the past three years, the City of Petaluma, community
organizations including the Petaluma River Council, Friends of
Shollenberger Park, Madrone Audubon Society and Petaluma Tomorrow, along with thousands of individual citizens, are frustrated and disappointed that this project has been approved. The Plaintiffs have exhausted all other remedies with the County, and are left with no choice other than to seek judicial review of the approvals process and the impacts of the project itself.
"The County's review and approvals process, and the Dutra project itself, are littered with numerous serious and irresponsible flaws," said Petaluma River Council Director David Keller.
The County failed to properly apply the (CEQA), the county's General Plan, and land use law to identify the impacts caused by the project, to find alternatives that were less harmful, and to mitigate damages that were not otherwise avoidable, as required by the law. CEQA was put in place by the State of California to help ensure that our landscape, environment, health and well being would be protected from harm. The County failed to properly produce the CEQA-required single, clear, comprehensive and comprehensible Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the entirety of the project, leaving the public, other agencies, and the decision makers ill-informed about project components, impacts and problems contained in the final plans approved.
Sheri Chlebowski, President of Moms for Clean Air, stated: "Our children's health and the welfare of all of our City's residents must not be put at risk for the financial profit of one company."
The errors and omissions include:
- a patchwork of disorganized addenda and conclusions inadequately describing an ever-changing project without supporting analysis;
- erroneous and misleading mapping of the River's navigable waterway and high-pressure PG&E gas transmission pipelines located under Dutra's riverfront parcel;
- unmitigated traffic congestion and diesel exhaust air pollution
from over 145,000 truck trips per year;
- failure to accurately and adequately address significant loud
noise, odors, toxic and noxious emissions of gases and dusts from the asphalt manufacturing operations;
- the assertion that the project is "river-dependent," when in fact
it does not include any barge and tug transport and unloading of
rock, gravel and sand at Dutra's properties. The project thus does
not qualify for zoning and land use changes, and could be located on a less environmentally-sensitive site.
- the County ignored the fact that sufficient, unused asphalt
manufacturing capacity to serve the region's needs already exists without Dutra's factory, as stated in the Draft EIR.
- the County failed to find any agreement by Shamrock Materials to
make their adjacent property and barge landing facilities available
to Dutra for receiving, unloading and transporting some 500,000 tons of sand and gravel components for asphalt production. Shamrock, as an integral component of the approved Dutra project, underwent no environmental review, even though the county has required destruction of .48 acre of wetlands on Shamrock's property to construct a conveyor belt to Dutra's site.
- the County failed to honor and abide by the November 1998Sonoma County voters' decision to protect the Dairy Belt Scenic Corridor against intensification and industrialization of agricultural and commercial lands. This voter-protected Scenic Corridor, in an area paralleling Highway 101 from theMarin County line to the southern edge of Petaluma, includes the Dutra parcels. Instead, the County dismissed the voters' mandate and changed the land use and zoning to give Dutra the industrial designations that they wanted, without seeking the voter approvals required for that change.
"Our county's elected officials have failed to use the laws in place to protect the electorate and the environment. Public parks and trails are crucial for the health and well-being of the community, especially in tough economic times, and must be protected," said Joan Cooper, spokesperson for Friends of Shollenberger Park.
After some 100 years of abuse, filling, diking, development and destruction, the tidal wetlands of San Francisco and , along with their important tributaries such as the Petaluma River and Marsh, have been undergoing revitalization, renewal, restoration and preservation during the past 40 years. These tidal wetlands and rivers are essential to our region for fish and wildlife, water quality, recreation, commerce and flood management, and are the foundation of our regions' attractiveness and wealth. Millions of public and private dollars have been invested in the restoration and preservation of the upper Petaluma River and Marsh, including the city-owned Shollenberger Park, Alman Marsh, and the Ellis Creek Water Recycling facility with their popular trails, vistas and wildlife.
Building and operating the Dutra asphalt manufacturing factory in the midst of these publicly-owned natural resources would destroy the work done by thousands of people and businesses, striving to return the river gateway for Petaluma and Sonoma County to its vibrant and productive identity.
The County's Brown Act violations are a significant barrier to public participation.
The County further compounded the erroneous and inadequate project review under CEQA by committing serious Brown Act and procedural violations. The Plaintiffs are demanding that the Board of Supervisors correct the substantial flaws of their December 14, 2010public hearing and project approvals. The Board of Supervisors denied the public its right to comment on over 100 pages of critical new information released just hours prior to this final meeting. These documents were released without proper notice and distribution to public and agencies which had requested notification. No one from the public, including Petaluma's elected officials, were allowed to comment on the new information prior to the Supervisors vote to approve the project. The Supervisors also did not properly introduce and approve the two resolutions and ordinance approving the project and the environmental report and changing the land use designations for the site. This is a violation of state law and good public policy.
"We are proud of the important work done by residents, businesses and organizations in Petaluma to protect our community's values, well-being and economy. The City of Petaluma unanimously joins with them to defend and protect our city and the gifts that surround us," said Petaluma .
See letter from Dr. Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Health Environment here.
Results of the Supervisor Hearing on October 12th, 2010!
Hello all, sorry it took a few days to let you all know about the recent Supervisor Hearing. The Sonoma County Supervisors voted to approve the asphalt plant in a 3-2 vote. Kerns, Kelley and Carrillo voted for it and Zane and Brown against.
First, please visit and take a poll at http://www.watchsonomacounty.com/ which asks if the Supervisors did the right thing approving the project. These polls actually do have impacts on elected officials and reporting so please take 15 seconds and go to this page and look for the survey and vote. The survey is in the middle of the page about halfway down.
The highlights of the hearing were as follows:
Supervisor Efren Carrillo said the main reason he is voting for it is that he wants Petaluma to take its fair share of the asphalt burden because we use asphalt too. Yes, we do use asphalt and we also use cell phones and oil, batteries, natural gas, cars, copper pipes etc., so does that mean we need to have these factories next to our public park and gateway? We also produce resources here is Petaluma which are shipped up to Santa Rosa taking the burden for those. These facilities and asphalt plants may be needed but they need to placed in appropriate locations. We object and take offense to that argument. Every person in power in this country should look at doing the right thing. Not make decisions because leaders in the past have made poor decisions. We didn't have a say where the Santa Rosa asphalt plant was located years ago. But we do have the say for this one now. Don't put heavy industrial uses near sensitive locations from here on out.
Supervisor Kerns and Kelley took the same position that they have always taken. They believe that this plant is healthy for all of us. Even though we already have the Shamrock facility, Refuse Facility and Freeway in the same location. The 101 Freeway is one of the biggest polluters in our county. Adding an asphalt plant will not help. The trucking and diesel pollution associated with this project will further pollute this area.
The two silos will be 6 stories high feet off of the freeway at the So. Petaluma Boulevard exit. It will make the first exit appear as an industrial area which will discourage drivers from taking that exit which may diminish travelers from visiting our downtown restaurants and shops.
Tuesday's vote was a straw vote and the final vote is scheduled for December 14th. There is of course still time for them to change their mind, but it will be harder. We will prevail in the end but as always it takes people power to fight these corporate giants and if in December it is approved then it will have to be taken to court, so we will be gearing up for fundraising fun. In the mean time look for ways to spread the word among your groups that this is coming down the pike- we have strength in numbers.
It's election season and we want the right people in office so we can continue to protect our City and County. That's why Moms for Clean Air took the time to review the candidates and know which one's have a history of defending our community and taking a stand against this project and which one's are just saying they are opposed to it because it's political suicide to say you support it.
Moms for Clean Air is endorsing Pam Torliatt for Supervisor, David Glass for Mayor, Jason Davies and Teresa Barrett for Petaluma City Council.
It should be noted that Jeff Mayne was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce when the board unanimously voted to send a letter supporting the Dutra project to the Supervisors. We need the City of Petaluma to continue to oppose this project. Electing the right people will ensure this happens.
Warm regards to everyone. Thank you for your support.
From all of us at Moms for Clean Air.
The Bush administration had rejected recommendations by its science advisors for stronger airborne particulate standards, and the Court today ruled that this action was arbitrary. The standards at issue limit levels of soot, smoke, and other airborne particles linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths each year.
“This is a huge victory for anyone who breathes,” said Earthjustice attorney Paul Cort. “Particulate matter is one of the most deadly forms of pollution out there today. The Bush EPA refused to follow the advice of leading health advocates as well as its own scientists who argued that a stronger standard was needed to protect public health. Today’s ruling corrects that injustice.”
Earthjustice, an environmental law firm, filed the suit on behalf of the American Lung Association, Environmental Defense Fund, and National Parks Conservation Association. A number of states also challenged the standards.
The Region's needs would still be met for asphalt production and recycling without the proposed project. The Environmental Impact Report states that the three asphalt plants in Sonoma and Marin Counties can produce and recycle enough asphalt for our county. IN FACT, none of these asphalt plants are producing their permitted limits or meeting anywhere near their plant capacity. (Read the entire quote from the FEIR here!)