Join the Protest.
Making change happen is a complicated business. The freight hauler hides behind federal railroad law, and basically does whatever they want. They also seem to have talked a few of our State and County agencies into believing that that they have no jurisdiction over their freight operations or storage. But no other business in the County would be able to get away with establishing such a large hazardous materials storage facility, full of volatile and explosive materials, without a permit and without public hearings or environmental review and compliance with County standards.
We are encouraged by the fact that a number of cases have been decided in recent years to give a County jurisdiction over a rail storage yard in its area. And, as recently as 2017, the California Supreme Court required that both NCRA and SMART, the operator and landlord of the hazardous materials yard in Schellville, comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires extensive review and public hearings.
Taken together, we believe that a persuasive case can be made for, at the very least, greater security and blast- and fire-protection at the yard, and quite possibly for the removal of the tankers to another site where greater protection is possible. Not the removal of the railroad. Just the removal of the hazardous storage at the yard.
But, even with all the facts, the County and other local jurisdictions will only act if people like us who care raise our voices – which is what this petition is all about. It is vital that we all make our voices heard.
Given the complexity of the situation, we ask that you sign the attached on-line petition which will automatically be sent to us at Mobilize Sonoma. We will direct the evidence of your support to the right places at the right time as the opportunities present themselves. Together we can get the job done.