Nipomo Oil-by-Rail Plans Derailed

In the face of environmental litigation, Phillips 66 agreed to abandon plans to build a 1.3-mile rail spur at its Nipomo processing facility, needed to accommodate oil deliveries via train. “It’s dead. Absolutely,” declared Alicia Roessler, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Center, which has represented several organizations fighting Phillips the past four years. Environmentalists galvanized widespread opposition up and down the California coast, highlighting the 1.5-mile “blast zone” should the mile-long trains explode. When the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission voted to deny the proposed railroad spur in March, Phillips sued. Ultimately, Phillips opted to drop its case.

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