• March 7, 2019 (Thursday):  6 PM  Rodeo Town Hall: Tar Sands, Phillips 66 Refinery and Climate Change 

Repost from the SunFlower Alliance:

Save the date!  Refinery corridor residents are busy organizing a community forum on Phillips 66’s very dangerous plans to expand tar sands refining at its Rodeo facility.  Increased use of tar sands in the P66 crude slate means vastly increased tanker traffic in the Bay, an increased risk of spills, and increased assaults on community health and our worsening climate.  Learn about the two linked P66 proposals (the first Environmental Impact Report drops very soon) and what we can do to stop them.  Speakers to be announced.

Food, beverage and an interpreter will be provided.

Please come out to listen, learn, and offer support to the impacted communities.


Thursday, March 7th, 6:00 – 8:30 PM


Rodeo Hills Elementary School
All Purpose Room
545 Garretson Street
Rodeo 94572


  • 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, 2017 (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) 2016 @ 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 the Department of Toxic Substances Control 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 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: