Advisory: Bay Area dredging opponents to pack room at public hearing

Advisory: Bay Area dredging opponents to pack room at public hearing

Tuesday November 12, 2019

Community members will speak against Army Corps proposal to dredge San Francisco Bay and Carquinez Strait, deliver petition signed by 18,600 people

Traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands (PINOLE, CA) — Community members with the Protect the Bay coalition plan to pack the room during a US Army Corps of Engineers hearing on Wednesday, November 13, in Pinole to deliver a petition signed by more than 18,600 people highlighting the growing opposition to a dredging proposal in the Bay Area.

WHO: Community members with the Protect the Bay coalition are opposed to the proposal to dredge a deeper channel through 13 miles of the San Francisco Bay and the Carquinez Strait, criticizing the proposal as a move by President Donald Trump and Big Oil to expand the fossil fuel industry in California — including increasing imports of Canadian tar sands crude oil and increasing exports of U.S. coal. The proposal, which is co-sponsored by the City of Stockton, Contra Costa County and the Western States Petroleum Association, would provide nearly  $15 million dollars in annual subsidies to Bay Area refineries. 

Community members are concerned that the proposal would increase the risk of an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, threaten marine life, and increase greenhouse gas emissions and toxic pollution for people living in frontline communities near Bay Area refineries and along the tanker routes. 

WHAT: Public hearing on the San Francisco to Stockton Navigation Improvement Project hosted by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Community members with the Protect the Bay coalition will deliver a petition signed by more than 18,600 people opposed to the project. The petition calls on state and federal leaders to oppose the project, including Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Jerry McNerney, Rep. Mike Thompson, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.

WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, November 13

WHERE: Pinole Public Library, 2935 Pinole Valley Road, Pinole

WHY: According to the draft Environmental Impact Statement, the dredging project would enable the transport of greater amounts of crude oil imports and refined product exports to and from several oil refineries and other industries in the Bay Area.

The dredging proposal also coincides with plans by Bay Area refineries — including an expansion proposal at Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery — to process greater quantities of Canadian tar sands crude oil. Tar sands, also called diluted bitumen or dilbit, is an extremely toxic, non-floating crude oil that is extremely difficult to clean up in the event of a spill. The dredging proposal could also enable the Port of Stockton to export more U.S. coal to Asia.

Protect the Bay coalition members include Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment (CRUDE), Idle No More SF BayInterfaith Climate Action Network of Contra Costa CountyRodeo Citizens AssociationStand.earth, and Sunflower Alliance. Supporting organizations include 350 Bay AreaAmazon WatchCenter for Biological DiversityFriends of the Earth USFresh Air VallejoGreenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, and San Francisco Baykeeper. Learn more about the Protect the Bay coalition at https://www.protectthebay.org.

INTERVIEWS: Spokespeople with Protect the Bay and community members will be available to interview at the hearing. 

ONLINE: Portions of the public hearing and testimony from community members will be posted online at https://www.facebook.com/standearth/

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Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, 510-858-9902, press@protectthebay.org