The Bay Area's only active coal export company operates in the city of Richmond, right on the Bay's shoreline. The Levin terminal moves a million tons of coal every year from uncovered trains onto ships that travel across San Francisco Bay.
These coal shipments spread toxic dust throughout local communities and the Bay. Coal dust causes asthma and other diseases in people, and it contains metals and other pollutants that harm wildlife.
Earlier this year, Richmond city officials started debating a new zoning ordinance that would require safer rules on the handling and storage of coal in the city.
Cleaning up coal shipping in Richmond will protect residents and the Bay—and send a message that the Bay Area doesn't want the industry's dangerous coal exports to pollute our communities' air and water.
But when the Richmond Planning Commission held an initial public hearing on the ordinance in August, something strange happened.
The oil industry showed up in force to advocate against the ordinance. The pressure worked, and the Commission voted against safer protections for Richmond residents.
Why was Big Oil organizing to support a competing fossil fuel? Because Richmond's proposed ordinance additionally places safety restrictions on petroleum coke, a toxic oil byproduct that is also shipped through the Levin facility. Rather than send their pet coke to a cleaner, enclosed facility in Pittsburg, the oil industry wants to maintain its cheaper, dirtier export option in Richmond.
Fortunately, there's a new chance to stand up against toxic coal and Big Oil. The ordinance is coming up for a final vote by the Richmond City Council on Tuesday, December 3.
If you care about protecting the health of the Bay and Bay Area residents, please join Baykeeper at this meeting. All Bay Area residents are welcome to attend and voice their concerns. Current and former Richmond residents, health care professionals, and affected community youth are especially encouraged to give testimony at the meeting.
Your voice could make all the difference! Speak up to defend the Bay and Bay Area from dirty fossil fuels.
We hope to see you there!
When: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 5:30 PM – 10 PM
Doors open at 6pm – make sure to arrive early to get a seat. Our partner No Coal in Richmond will be meeting in the parking lot starting at 5:30pm to hand out t-shirts and snacks.
Where: 440 Civic Center Plz, Richmond, CA