Baykeeper Update

Baykeeper Boat Tour on Danger of Oil Refinery Expansion for Bay

Join Baykeeper in Pittsburg this Saturday, December 14, for a Toxic Tour aboard Baykeeper’s pollution patrol boat, highlighting the threat of oil industry plans to expand oil refineries on San Francisco Bay. We’ll explore nearby areas that will be under threat from oil spills and other toxic pollution, should the proposed refinery expansions be completed.

Toxic Tours aboard the Baykeeper boat leave at 11 and 11:30 am from Pittsburg Marina, 51 Marina Blvd., from the dock near the Harbor Master’s office, fuel dock, and American flag. To reserve a tour spot, email with the subject line “Toxic Tour RSVP” and indicate which tour time you want.

Expansion of Bay Area oil refining poses a major pollution threat to the Bay and surrounding areas. The oil industry’s goal is to process millions of barrels of oil for export to other states and countries. This would increase the number of oil tankers on the Bay and drastically raise the risk of oil spills into the Bay.

Moreover, the proposed refinery expansion would make the Bay Area a hub for processing crude oil extracted via fracking and other environmentally harmful methods in California’s Central Valley. Crude oil would also come from the Alberta Tar Sands and several US states, and refining this extremely dirty oil would cause air, water, and ground pollution.

Baykeeper’s Toxic Tour will focus on an oil terminal and storage facility proposed by the WesPac company for a 178-acre site on the shore of Suisun Bay, a San Francisco Bay inlet. The facility would receive crude oil via trains, ships, and pipelines and transfer it to nearby refineries for processing. It’s a key link in the oil industry’s plans for expanding all oil refineries along the Bay’s shore.

The December 14 Toxic Tour also includes a walking portion conducted by two local environmental organizations, Pittsburg Defense Council and Global Community Monitor. The walking tour begins at 10:00 am at McAvoy Yacht Harbor, 1001 McAvoy Road, Bay Point, and ends at Riverview Park/Pittsburg Marina.

This joint awareness campaign also includes Communities for a Better Environment and Bay Area health professionals raising the alarm about the health effects of pollution from expanded oil refineries.

Baykeeper has already taken action to stop the WesPac oil storage facility. In September this year, Baykeeper urged Pittsburg city officials not to give their required approval. We will continue to work to stop the expansion of oil refineries and the opening of oil export facilities on San Francisco Bay’s shore.