An average of fifty two trucks a day carrying 1000’s of gallons of crude oil will rumble through San Luis Obispo County to the Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa for at the very least another yr.
The corporate increased oil tanker deliveries in 2016 to substitute provide misplaced by a damaged pipeline in Santa Barbara. A brief permit to permit trucking was prolonged for another yr in Could, after the company paid the county $15,914 and bought equipment to settle alleged permit violations. That raises concern for some neighborhood members about visitors security and attainable oil spills.
Simply per week ago, a semitruck carrying 6,200 gallons of extremely-flammable crude oil was about 2.5 miles from its vacation spot on the Phillips sixty six refinery when the brakes went out and it rolled off the street to keep away from a automotive. Nobody was injured, and less than a gallon of oil spilled.
“It provides us concern that if that occurred earlier than, it’s going to occur again. That’s simply the inevitability of it,mentioned Laurance Shinderman, of Nipomo, who’s energetic in the Mesa Refinery Watch Group.
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Semitruck carrying crude oil rolls off highway near Arroyo Grande
Phillips sixty six declined to comment, however a representative directed The Tribune to a section on the company’s web site about the issue, which notes that “safety and reliability are our first precedence./p>
Lots of of tanker trucks have been delivering oil to the refinery on the Nipomo Mesa, referred to as the Santa Maria Refinery, and to a pump station in Santa Maria to fill a provide hole created by the shutdown of the Plains All American Pipeline in Santa Barbara County in Could 2015. One of those deliveries to Santa Maria ended in a driver’s dying final fall.
In accordance with the California Highway Patrol, Elias Garcia, 45, of Bakersfield had simply unloaded his truck when his wife referred to as to test on him about 2 a.m. Sept. Thirteen, 2016. Garcia told her he was tired and on his way house.
He by no means made it.
Officers suspect he fell asleep at the wheel round 7:30 a.m. on Freeway 166 close to New Cuyama. The tanker swerved over the double-yellow strains and slammed into several oncoming trucks. He was ejected right into a dirt subject and pronounced dead on the scene.
Like rail automobiles, large tanker trucks that transport crude oil end in far more fatalities and incidents than pipelines, in accordance with a U.S. Government Accountability Workplace report on oil and fuel transportation. On common, about 14 fatalities a 12 months had been reported in pipeline incidents between 2007 and 2011. By comparison, in 2010 alone, three,675 fatalities resulted from incidents involving giant trucks.
Domestically, the intersection of Willow Road and Freeway 1 where the semitruck crashed final week is frequented by tanker trucks and is a concern to local residents like Shinderman, who witness vehicles zooming by in low visibility sometimes brought on by low-lying fog. They’re particularly involved due to a pointy proper turn close to the intersection.
The recent trucking permit issued by the county Air Pollution Control District allows Phillips sixty six to maintain the present variety of trucks till Could 2018.
The district last 12 months issued a discover of violation to the corporate for violating Health and Safety Code and county guidelines by failing to inform the county in regards to the refinery receiving oil trucks.
The corporate wracked up civil penalties for sixty one days that could have been assessed at up to $610,000. It settled the violation with the county in Might by agreeing to pay $15,914 to the district. It additionally promised to offer a portable photo voltaic-powered trailer for a cell air monitoring station on the Nipomo Mesa.