We at C.R.U.D.E. tip our hats to the following three wonderful groups, upon whose mighty shoulders we stand:
- The Good Neighbor Agreement Committee
Back in 1994, Rodeo’s Unocal refinery (now owned by Phillips 66) released an estimated 80 to 225 tons of dangerous Catacarb into the air over a sixteen day period. As a result over 1,200 people required medical attention. A lawsuit resulted in a landmark Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA), brokered by a group of 30 folks from the towns most affected: Rodeo, Crockett, and Tormey, who was ably assisted by the Shoreline Environmental Alliance (SEA) and Citizens for a Better Environment-California (CBE). For the first half of the 30-year agreement, the refinery reluctantly gave the required amount of money to the community, via the local school district, Rodeo Municipal Advisory Council (RMAC) and the Crockett Community Foundation.
At the GNA’s halfway mark, the “good faith” clause for renegotiating the next 15 years become a golden opportunity for Phillips66 (P66) to deep-six the monetary aspect of the agreement altogether. Past payments were deftly reframed as “charity” by P66’s public relations department. The former refinery manager Rand Swenson (at the helm when the GNA evaporated into thin air) was appointed to the Contra Costa Planning Commission in 2013.
- The Community Working Group (aka the Fenceline Working Group)
This group has been a part of the fight for about 20 years, emerging from the devastating Unocal situation to oversee and participate with the refinery in the installation and maintenance of a “fenceline” monitoring system (equipment tracking emissions from the refinery). The CWG’s collective wisdom about fenceline monitoring and P66’s land use issues is pretty much unparalleled; unfortunately, their job is not yet over: Amazingly, the fenceline equipment is STILL not operating consistently and negotiations continue. For “real-time” emissions data visit the fenceline monitoring website, fenceline.org.
For more information about the GNA, CWG, and refinery issues, visit the Eyes on Phillips 66 blog (crgna.org), filled with technical knowledge and crucial up-to-date commentary. This website maintains important archived documents as well, some of which are referenced elsewhere on this site.
- The Rodeo Citizens Association (RCA)
This feisty non-profit group started in the early ‘80s and dealt with Rodeo’s Pacific Refinery issues.
That refinery closed its doors due to public and economic pressures. The land was scraped, filled up with dirt and covered with homes. Although RCA is “old school” and just started its website, you can contact them by e-mailing the president, Janet Pygeorge, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see Janet at public hearings, where she clearly does not suffer fools gladly.
She’s a hero in our book.