Senate BillNo. 1277

Introduced by Senator Hancock

February 19, 2016

An act relating to ports and harbors.


SB 1277, as introduced, Hancock. Ports and harbors: City of Oakland: coal shipment.

Existing law regulates the operation of ports and harbors. The Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 1B) created the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund and provided for allocation by the California Transportation Commission of $2 billion in bond funds for infrastructure improvements on highway and rail corridors that have a high volume of freight movement, and specified categories of projects eligible to receive these funds, including projects to enhance the capacity and efficiency of ports.

This bill would prohibit the shipment of coal to, or through, a certain port facility located in the former Oakland Army Base that has been funded in part by the proceeds of Proposition 1B.

This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the City of Oakland.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1


(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(1) The City of Oakland has received substantial funding from
4the California Transportation Commission for the development of
P2    1the Bulk and Oversized Terminal at the former Oakland Army
2Base. The funding has been provided from the proceeds of bonds
3sold pursuant to the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air
4Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Chapter 12.49
5(commencing with Section 8879.20) of Division 1 of Title 2 of
6the Government Code).

7(2) According to the Legislative Analyst’s analysis of the
8Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security
9Bond Act of 2006, one of the goals of the act was to provide
10funding to projects to “improve air quality by reducing emissions
11related to goods movement.”

12(3) In the agreement between the City of Oakland and a private
13developer for a project that includes the development of the Bulk
14and Oversized Terminal, paragraph D of the Recitals states that
15“the development of the project will provide many benefits to the
16City and the public including but not limited to: (1) mitigate or
17avoid potential significant environmental impacts; ... .” In
18paragraph 3.4.2 of that agreement, the City of Oakland reserves
19the right to apply regulations adopted after the effective date of
20the agreement if the city finds failure to apply those regulations
21“would place existing or future occupants or users of the Project,
22adjacent neighbors, or any portion thereof, or all of them, in a
23condition substantially dangerous to their health or safety.”

24(4) There is a proposal to export coal from the Bulk and
25Oversized Terminal.

26(5) Coal export poses unique and substantial dangers to citizens
27in adjacent neighborhoods, workers at the site, and to the Oakland
28community as a whole.

29(6) Assuming that 10.5 million tons of coal is shipped annually,
30as much as 646 tons per year of fugitive coal dust may be generated
31by the movement of coal through the port facility.

32(7) Coal dust poses serious health concerns for a neighborhood
33already burdened with a history of environmental injustices and
34ill equipped to cope with additional stresses.

35(8) The American Lung Association considers coal dust a source
36of particulate matter that is dangerous to breathe.

37(9) The World Health Organization cites coal dust, along with
38silica and asbestos, as responsible for most occupational lung
39diseases due to airborne particulate.

P3    1(10) The United States Environmental Protection Agency cites
2numerous scientific studies that link particulate matter with a series
3of significant health problems, including premature death in people
4with lung or heart disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular
5heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, and
6increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways,
7coughing, or difficulty in breathing.

8(11) There are no proven topping agents that have demonstrated
9effectiveness at reducing coal dust over long trips.

10(12) Confined or covered coal transportation and terminal
11operations would shift the burden of toxic pollution to workers at
12the site while also exacerbating risks of fire during transport,
13storage, and loading.

14(13) “Covered” and “clean” coal operations raise significant
15safety concerns for workers related to the increased likelihood of
16coal combustion when it is confined. Trains often have open-top
17cars as a technique to mitigate the chances of fires by allowing
18heat to escape. If these train cars and warehouse spaces are covered
19then risk of fire is likely to be higher.

20(14) Coal transport, warehousing, and loading operations will
21increase worker exposure to coal dust due to inherent jostling of
22the commodity. Covering and confining the coal export terminal
23and its operations will only exacerbate these problems because
24dust will be more concentrated within the workspace.

25(15) Coal presents transportation concerns because the weight
26of the trains increases stress on tracks and slows traffic, and
27because the dust damages rail tracks.

28(16) Coal dust and leachates can pollute waterways, often with
29long-lasting impacts.

30(17) The community of West Oakland, which is near the Bulk
31and Oversized Terminal, is already heavily and adversely impacted
32by goods movements through the community.

33(18) The California Environmental Protection Agency, using
34the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool
35(CalEnviroScreen), a tool that assesses all census tracts in
36California, has identified the community of West Oakland as a
37disadvantaged community disproportionately burdened by, and
38vulnerable to, multiple sources of pollution.

39(19) The residents of West Oakland breathe air containing three
40times the amount of diesel particulate matter than in other part of
P4    1the San Francisco Bay area, which translates to a 2.5 times greater
2risk of cancer. Children in West Oakland suffer from ailments like
3asthma at higher rates than children in other neighborhoods.

4(20) The residents of West Oakland are two times more likely
5to go to a hospital emergency room with asthma as compared to
6residents in other parts of the County of Alameda. According to
7the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, in
82009, for every 10,000 visits, 183 visits in West Oakland were due
9to asthma, whereas the statewide average is 48 visits. Those
10residents are also more likely to die of illnesses linked to air
11pollution like cancers, heart diseases, and other ailments.

12(21) The residents of West Oakland are already impacted by
13goods movements, and do not deserve to bear the brunt of the
14health impacts of coal moving through their community.

15(22) The transportation of coal through the Bulk and Oversized
16Terminal would present a substantially dangerous condition to the
17health and safety of the residents of Oakland along with the
18workers at the Port of Oakland and is contrary to the goals of the
19Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security
20Bond Act of 2006.

21(b) Because of the substantial dangers to the City of Oakland
22and its residents associated with coal shipment and because this
23activity is contrary to the intent of the Highway Safety, Traffic
24Reduction, Act Quality and Port Security Act of 2006, coal shall
25not be transported to, or through, the Bulk and Oversized Terminal
26located in the former Oakland Army Base.


SEC. 2.  

The Legislature finds and declares that a special law
28is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable
29within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California
30Constitution because of the unique nature of the proposed coal
31shipment through the Bulk and Oversized Terminal located in the
32former Oakland Army Base in the City of Oakland.