The city council of Richmond this week passed a resolution opposing the transport of coal and petroleum coke (a toxic byproduct of oil refining) in open rail cars through the city. Shipping coal and pet coke in open cars can spread highly toxic dust into surrounding areas, contaminating neighborhoods near railroad tracks. The dust can also be washed and blown into San Francisco Bay.
Baykeeper is working to reduce coal and pet coke dust pollution in San Francisco Bay. Last year, Baykeeper secured a legally-binding agreement requiring the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation to improve its operations to protect the Bay from pet coke dust and other toxic substances that had been washing and blowing off the site. Levin-Richmond is the only Richmond facility that receives coal and pet coke shipments.
In addition, Baykeeper successfully advocated for resolutions passed by San Francisco and Oakland leaders, similar to that passed by Richmond, opposing shipment of coal and oil through those cities.