• February 1, 2018 (Thursday) Selby Slag Remediation Project: Public Meeting/Review of Draft Remedial Action Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report 

Time:  6 – 8 PM      Where:  Crockett Community Center Auditorium (850 Pomona Street)

The California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC) has invited the surrounding communities to review the agency’s draft plans for remediating the 66-acre, Superfund site partially owned by CSL Land, Inc (a ConocoPhillips subsidiary.)  The capped site is just a few feet away from the base of the P66 refinery’s oil tanker pier.

An old smelter was located at Selby and processed much of the gold that came out the foothills during the California Goldrush.  The smelter was eventually decommissioned this century and all structures were removed.  However, for over a hundred years the groundwater at that site has been leaching heavy metals, unabated, into the  SF Bay waters and continues to do so today.

(Click here for a good history of the slag, courtesy of the East Bay Express)

For the past 26 years, the 2.3 million cubic yards of slag (dirt laced with cadmium, lead, antimony, nickel, copper, arsenic, and zinc) has been capped with asphalt. Unfortunately, the asphalt covering did nothing to stop the plumes of contaminated groundwater from spewing heavy metals into the bay.

And now?  The DTSC is rising to the task of remediation and is planning to finally stop the leaching of metals into the groundwater that dumps into the bay.  The agency plans to:

  • Build a sea wall
  • Remove the 66-acre asphalt cap
  • Control “the dust”  of the existing slag by sprinkling the exposed, poisoned dirt with water
  • Dredge the contaminated mud along the shoreline
  • Dump the (mud) slag on top of the existing (dry) slag
  • Create a water treatment system for the poisoned groundwater
  • Pour a new cap

(Click here for the DTSC 6-page overview)

Although it is good that the State of California is finally addressing this serious problem, it is vitally important that residents attend and ask questions, and here’s is why.

  • Those who live nearby may be concerned that the primitive method that DTSC plans to use for “dust control” appears to be limited to sprinkling water on dirt heavily contaminated with elements that are known carcinogens.
  • According to the bulletin below, the DTSC states that the EIR’s community safety measures were based on the agency’s belief that Crockett was 2 miles away in one direction and that Rodeo was 2 miles away in the other.

As we locals know, the slag is sited IN Crockett and the nearest homes (in old Tormey) are right across the street,  merely 100 yards away.

Further up the road a bit, the Western end of Vista Del Rio Street intersects San Pablo Ave just a half mile further up from the lag’s street entrance.  Residential (Crockett) housing starts slightly higher up the street from there.  And the nearest residential Rodeo neighborhood?  That would be Bayo Vista, only 1.3 miles away from Selby Slag, not two miles.

Perhaps the DTSC confused Crockett with the Southern edge of Vallejo which is 2 miles away as the crow flies.

At this point, it doesn’t a matter which of the neighborhoods mentioned above you call home.  If you don’t want dust laden with toxic, heavy metals blowing into your bedroom while you sleep or through your kitchen windows while you cook and eat,  attend this meeting.  Insiste that DTSC protects the air you breathe with something more sophisticated than a sprinkler system.

Other serious topics to bring up at that meeting:

  • How will P66’s (yet to be approved) plans of double its oil tanker traffic at the pier adjacent to the slag impact the dredging work just yards away?
  • Where will the water treatment plant for the groundwater be sited?

Copies of the EIR at the Crockett and Rodeo libraries for public review.


  • June 22 (Thurs) P66 Marine Terminal Scoping Meeting 

    On July 22nd, the Air District is sponsoring a Scoping Meeting for community members to share their thoughts about the scope and content of the BAAQMD’s environmental analysis of the Phillips 66 Marine Terminal Permit Revision.  They write:

    “The proposed project would increase the amount of crude and gas oil brought by ship to the Marine Terminal at the Phillips 66 San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California.  The refinery processes crude oil delivered by ship from a variety of domestic and foreign sources to the Marine Terminal, as well as crude oil received from central California by pipeline.

    The proposed project would enable the refinery to receive and process higher rates of ship-delivered crude and gas oil, thereby replacing roughly equivalent volumes of pipeline-delivered crudes with shipborne crudes. However, the proposed project would not affect the characteristics of the crude oil and gas oil the refinery is able to process.

    At this meeting, you can speak with Air District staff, hear a staff presentation about the proposed project, ask questions, and offer comments.  You can also learn about the proposed project by visiting an interactive display and speaking to staff.”


    Thursday, June 22, 2017,  4:00 – 6:00 PM


    Ohlone Community Center
    190 Turquoise Dr.
    Hercules, CA

    Written comments can be submitted by July 22, 2017. For more information contact Barry Young at



  • AUGUST 10  (WEDS) 6:00 PM: EIR SCOPING SESSION FOR FINAL CLEAN UP FOR SELBY SLAG (partially owned by a subsidiary of P66) 

selby shore Then… and now  selby slag


Forty-five years ago, the old Selby smelter, which dated back to the days of the Gold Rush, was decommissioned.  The smelter — along with its sulfur dioxide plant, a hotel, and all the houses — were are all removed.  The soil was somewhat remediated, the sludge from off-shore dredging was put on top of the site and then it was all capped.

Since that time, this Superfund site has sat untouched waiting for the final remediation plans while plumes of groundwater contaminated with heavy metal contamination leach out from the site into the bay.

Fast forward to today:  The time has come for Department of Toxic Substances Control for to put out an EIR for the final stage of remediation. To that end, it has scheduled a public information meeting in Crockett.

Not only is the final clean up good news for the health of the Bay but if Selby Slag was properly remediated (and landowners were amenable to it), the 66-acre Superfund site could possibly be a considered as a possible solar farm site for Contra Costa County’s renewable energy program that is now under consideration by the Board of Supervisors (see item below.)

Please come and learn more about the what is in store for the cleanup and bring your questions!

When:   Wednesday, August 10th, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Where:  Crockett Community Center

Here is the department’s website page for the Superfund site:




Please attend this important meeting at the County Board of Supes re “Community Choice” renewable energy programs! There are 3 options. One in particular — Co. Co. Co. starting its own program by covering its own industrial brownfields with solar panels — will be an incredible source of revenue and jobs.

There’s no guarantee that Contra Costa Community Choice Energy is a slam dunk, even though 16 Contra Costa Cities have passed resolutions in favor of a feasibility study.  All Contra Costa County residents able to attend the Tuesday, March 15 Board of Supervisors meeting need to show up and testify on behalf of Option 1,  the allocation of funds for a full feasibility study for Community Choice Energy in Contra Costa.

Click here to read and attend the meeting if you can.




In conjunction with an exhibit of industrial landscapes by internationally acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky, Sunflower Alliance and the David Brower Center are proud to  present a forum on “A Just Transition: From Refineries to Renewables.”

Burtynsky’s work illuminates the way industry alters and re-forms natural landscapes. His striking photographs of the extraction and use of water, minerals, stone, and oil reveal the scale of human impact on our environment and the resources re-shaped and exhausted by our consumption.

The forum widens this lens to illuminate industry’s impact on our social environment.  Most Bay Area residents are unaware of the extent to which their bodies, homes, workplaces, and communities are affected by local refineries and refinery-related transport.  In this interactive conversation, Bay Area refinery corridor residents and energy visionaries will offer eyewitness testimony about local and global impacts of the fossil fuel industry and describe their shared work toward a sustainable energy future.  Speakers include Jack Lucero Fleck of 350 Bay Area, Jessica Hendricks of Global Community Monitor, oil and energy journalist Antonia JuhaszGreg Karras of Communities for a Better Environment, Colin Miller of Bay Localize, Janet Pygeorge of the Rodeo Citizens Association, and Nancy Rieser of the Bay Area Refinery Corridor Coalition and C.R.U.D.E.


Eventbrite tickets can be purchased here.  Sliding scale:  $2- $1

October 27, 2015 at 7pm – 9pm

David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Photo credit: Drew Dellinger

big fire      hazmat      tight crop on fire ball and cylindrical charred tank

Exactly who does what and when after any explosion or fire occurs at P66?  How does the community alert system work? What should we do in an emergency? Who is supposed to tell us?  And last but not least, which public or private entity made the decision not to activate the telephone community alert system when the coker caught on fire Aug. 2nd?  Those are just some of the questions that will be asked at this special meeting organized by the Crockett Improvement Association.   All are invited to attend.  Representatives from CAER (Community Awareness Emergency System), the County Hazmat Dept and BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) have confirmed that they will be there.


  • August 26th (Wednesday), 1:45 PM, Court Hearing on the Propane Recovery/Tar Sands Expansion Project, Martinez

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Rodeo Citizen’s Association (RCA) and the labor association Safe Fuel and Energy Resources California (SAFER) have challenged the County’s improper certification of the EIR for this tar sands crude by rail project, disguised as the “Propane Recovery Project.”

This coming Wednesday, August 26th is day of the first hearing where all parties involved in the Propane Expansion EIR lawsuit will present their case in a succinct way (30-45 minutes each) in front of Judge Goode.

The public is allowed to attend.  Even though there will be no opportunity to offer public comment, it should be an interesting process to watch.  If you do decide to attend, please observe courtroom decorum.

(For those who are visiting our page for the first time and wish to quickly catch up, read this article published this past March: )

WHEN:  Wednesday, August 26th at 1:45PM

WHERE: Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, 725 Court Street, Martinez, CA 94553 (Department 17 before the Honorable Judge Barry Goode)

See you there!



two futures graphic

Time: 10 AM to 1 PM (lunch provided)

Where: Nick Rodriguez Community Center Theater in Antioch, California (213 “F” Street).

If you are concerned about air, water or soil pollution in Contra Costa, you won’t want to miss this community forum on August 15 in Antioch! We will hear from county leaders describing their plan for expanding industrial development here — the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative — and local residents will share a vision for a sustainable future for our communities.

Lunch will be served so pre-registration is required:

Hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Bay Area Refinery Corridor Coalition, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter and the Interfaith Climate Action Network

New!  Listen to this week’s KPFA radio show hosted by Andres Soto!  The show is dedicated to the back story of the upcoming meeting and features community leaders Pennie Opal Plant, Stephanie Hervey and cool music during the station breaks.



Will the Air District set caps on refinery greenhouse gas emissions?

The question is critical. What’s more, our community has a key role in determining the answer. Attend the BAAQMD Board of Directors meeting this Wednesday and ask the directors—elected officials—to instruct its staff to establish enforceable, numeric caps on GHG’s, something it’s been unwilling to do to date.

Even if you don’t want to make a public statement, your presence as a concerned citizen carries great power. Click here for background, RSVP.

Weds., June 3, 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
939 Ellis St., San Francisco


  • CRUDE BY RAIL Q and A SAFETY COMMUNITY MEETING with CalEPA REPRESENTATIVES: March 26th, 7 PM, Crockett Community Center

If the Phillips 66 Tar Sands/Propane expansion project is approved, an estimated five trains a week, each pulling 80 oil tank cars, could travel through Contra Costa, down through the Bay Area then onto central California to Nipomo…home of the “front end” of the San Francisco Refinery.

What kind of emergency plans are in place should a train derail and explode?
Bring your questions and concerns.

The Phillips 66 EIR has been sent back to the drawing board several times due to unresolved air quality and public safety concerns. The most recent, re-circulated DEIR is up for public review.  Nothing much has changed:  P66 is pretty much doubling down on its assertion that the propane expansion is a low-risk project and is still dissociating the Rodeo refinery (“back half”) with the Nipomo refinery (“front half”). They don’t want the public to know that partially process Canadian Tar Sands will be barrelling up California by rolling bomb trains and pipeline to Rodeo.

  • TRAINS, PROPANE & PUBLIC SAFETY:  Public Forum – MAY 8th, 2014

From the editor:  The forum was a resounding success!  If you missed it, click on “Inspiration: Speeches and Educational Forum Film Clips”  in the menu bar above ….to get similar information presented at other forums by many of the same speakers ….and more!

Rodeo Citizens Association invites you to join them for an evening of information about the dangers of the P66 propane expansion project and the trains that carry explosive crude through our communities. Special guests:   Light refreshments will be served.  Forum is produced in partnership with the Sierra Club, Sunflower Alliance and 350BayArea,

  • When: Thursday, May 8th, 2014
  • Where: Rodeo Senior Center, 189 Parker, Rodeo
  • Time: 7 PM

Special Guest, Antonia Juhasz, investigative reporter, oil industry analyst and author of Black Tide: The Devasting impact of the Gulf Oil Spill