Amended in Senate March 30, 2016

Senate BillNo. 1277

Introduced by Senator Hancock

February 19, 2016

An act relating to ports and harbors.


SB 1277, as amended, 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

P2    1(1) The City of Oakland has received substantial funding from
2the California Transportation Commission for the development of
3the Bulk and Oversized Terminal at the former Oakland Army
4Base. The funding has been provided from the proceeds of bonds
5sold pursuant to the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air
6Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Chapter 12.49
7(commencing with Section 8879.20) of Division 1 of Title 2 of
8the Government Code).

9(2) According to the Legislative Analyst’s analysis of the
10Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security
11Bond Act of 2006, one of the goals of the act was to provide
12funding to projects to “improve air quality by reducing emissions
13related to goods movement.”

14(3) In the agreement between the City of Oakland and a private
15developer for a project that includes the development of the Bulk
16and Oversized Terminal, paragraph D of the Recitals states that
17“the development of the project will provide many benefits to the
18City and the public including but not limited to: (1) mitigate or
19avoid potential significant environmental impacts; ... .” In
20paragraph 3.4.2 of that agreement, the City of Oakland reserves
21the right to apply regulations adopted after the effective date of
22the agreement if the city finds failure to apply those regulations
23“would place existing or future occupants or users of the Project,
24adjacent neighbors, or any portion thereof, or all of them, in a
25condition substantially dangerous to their health or safety.”

26(4) There is a proposal to export coal from the Bulk and
27Oversized Terminal.

28(5) Coal export poses unique and substantial dangers to citizens
29in adjacent neighborhoods, workers at the site, and to the Oakland
30community as a whole.

31(6) Assuming that 10.5 million tons of coal is shipped annually,
32as much as 646 tons per year of fugitive coal dust may be generated
33by the movement of coal through the port facility.

34(7) Coal dust poses serious health concerns for a neighborhood
35already burdened with a history of environmental injustices and
36ill equipped to cope with additional stresses.

37(8) The American Lung Association considers coal dust a source
38of particulate matter that is dangerous to breathe.

P3    1(9) The World Health Organization cites coal dust, along with
2silica and asbestos, as responsible for most occupational lung
3diseases due to airborne particulate.

4(10) The United States Environmental Protection Agency cites
5numerous scientific studies that link particulate matter with a series
6of significant health problems, including premature death in people
7with lung or heart disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular
8heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, and
9increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways,
10coughing, or difficulty in breathing.

11(11) There are no proven topping agents that have demonstrated
12effectiveness at reducing coal dust over long trips.

13(12) Confined or covered coal transportation and terminal
14operations would shift the burden of toxic pollution to workers at
15the site while also exacerbating risks of fire during transport,
16storage, and loading.

17(13) “Covered” and “clean” coal operations raise significant
18safety concerns for workers related to the increased likelihood of
19coal combustion when it is confined. Trains often have open-top
20cars as a technique to mitigate the chances of fires by allowing
21heat to escape. If these train cars and warehouse spaces are covered
22then risk of fire is likely to be higher.

23(14) Coal transport, warehousing, and loading operations will
24increase worker exposure to coal dust due to inherent jostling of
25the commodity. Covering and confining the coal export terminal
26and its operations will only exacerbate these problems because
27dust will be more concentrated within the workspace.

28(15) Coal presents transportation concerns because the weight
29of the trains increases stress on tracks and slows traffic, and
30because the dust damages rail tracks.

31(16) Coal dust and leachates can pollute waterways, often with
32long-lasting impacts.

33(17) The community of West Oakland, which is near the Bulk
34and Oversized Terminal, is already heavily and adversely impacted
35by goods movements through the community.

36(18) The California Environmental Protection Agency, using
37the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool
38(CalEnviroScreen), a tool that assesses all census tracts in
39California, has identified the community of West Oakland as a
P4    1disadvantaged community disproportionately burdened by, and
2vulnerable to, multiple sources of pollution.

3(19) The residents of West Oakland breathe air containing three
4times the amount of diesel particulate matter than in otherbegin delete partend delete
5begin insert partsend insert of the San Francisco Bay area, which translates to a 2.5 times
6greater risk of cancer. Children in West Oakland suffer from
7ailments like asthma at higher rates than children in other

9(20) The residents of West Oakland are two times more likely
10to go to a hospital emergency room with asthma as compared to
11residents in other parts of the County of Alameda. According to
12the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, in
132009, for every 10,000 visits, 183 visits in West Oakland were due
14to asthma, whereas the statewide average is 48 visits. Those
15residents are also more likely to die of illnesses linked to air
16pollution like cancers, heart diseases, and other ailments.

17(21) The residents of West Oakland are already impacted by
18goods movements, and do not deserve to bear the brunt of the
19health impacts of coal moving through their community.

20(22) The transportation of coal through the Bulk and Oversized
21Terminal would present a substantially dangerous condition to the
22health and safety of the residents of Oakland along with the
23workers at the Port of Oakland and is contrary to the goals of the
24Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security
25Bond Act of 2006.

26(b) Because of the substantial dangers to the City of Oakland
27and its residents associated with coal shipment and because this
28activity is contrary to the intent of the Highway Safety, Traffic
29Reduction,begin delete Act Qualityend deletebegin insert Air Quality,end insert and Port Securitybegin insert Bondend insert Act
30of 2006,begin insert to the extent consistent with federal law,end insert coal shall not
31be transported to, or through, the Bulk and Oversized Terminal
32located in the former Oakland Army Base.


SEC. 2.  

The Legislature finds and declares that a special law
34is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable
35within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California
36Constitution because of the unique nature of the proposed coal
37shipment through the Bulk and Oversized Terminal located in the
38former Oakland Army Base in the City of Oakland.