The City of Benicia has extended the comment period on the Valero Crude-by-Rail Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) until September 15th. Yolano Climate Action is hosting the last public letter-writing workshop on September 7. The DEIR is an opportunity for individuals to voice their concerns about the proposed 70,000 barrels (equivalent to a train of 100 tank cars) of explosive Bakken and toxic tar sands crude oil passing through Davis daily. Find out how to respond to the DEIR and join other actions that are putting this issue in the political limelight.

At the September 7th meeting at the Blanchard Room at the Davis Branch Library from 2:00-4:00 p.m., participants will hear an update on oil train issues both for the Valero-Benicia project and also at the national level, review the CEQA and EIR process, and receive helpful resource materials and examples for letter-writing.

There is a printed copy of the DEIR at the library (ask at the front desk), or the entire 1,500 page document plus an equal number of public comments are posted at or  here

The posted public comments at the city both websites above are an invaluable source of example letters. Included are some key governmental responses from Yolo County, Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District, and many individuals from July 11-August 5. Soon the well-researched letter from Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) will be posted along with the Sacramento Air Quality Management District and the cities of Davis, Sacramento, Roseville, and Colfax. The Natural Resources Defense Council is preparing a letter as well.

Other ways to take action:
1. Attend the hearing of the Planning Commission in Benicia on September 11 to voice your concerns. 7pm, Council Chambers, City Hall,250 East L Street, Benicia.

2. Make a donation to Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community at

3. Write to Garamendi urging him to stand firm on his demand to Department of Transportation (DOT) to reduce the volatility and install Positive Train Control Technology in all trains. Read Garamendi’s letter here.

4. Respond to the federal DOT Rule-making document presently open for public comment through the end of September. (For information on how to send your comment to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, see Notice of Proposed Rule-Making.)

5. Report unit trains passing through Davis. If you spot a unit train (50-100+ tank cars with the hazmat placard 1267), please phone the following individuals who need photos to document that trains are coming through their towns.
• Peter Dragovich of the Martinez Environmental Group, text or phone at 925-207-1191.
• Constance Beutel at 707-742-4419 in Benicia.
• If possible, take a photo for Davis as well (high resolution if you can) and email it to me (see below). Capture the impact of the line of cars, but also get an close-up of the 1267 placard.

Mail letters to:
Amy Million, Principal Planner
Community Development Department
250 East L Street, Benicia, CA 94510

Email letters to:

Fax letters to:   (707) 747-1637

Contact: Lynne Nittler at or 756-8110