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San Luis Obispo is latest city to express concern over refinery's proposed rail project

Phillips 66

The City of San Luis Obispo is the latest municipality in California to voice concern over plans to build a rail connector to the Phillips 66 refinery near Santa Maria. 

Cities and counties along the Southern Pacific rail line have sent letters to San Luis Obispo Planning Commission expressing concern regarding the dangers associated with sending crude oil by train.

San Luis Obispo City Council Member John Ashbaugh said that they urged the Mayor to send a letter in light of the recent disaster in West Virginia.

"If something like that were to occur in San Luis Obispo near Cal Poly, or any of the downtown neighborhoods, or along broad street, it'll be devastating," said Councilmember Ashbaugh. "So we have a legitimate concern about the safety and security of neighborhoods in San Luis Obispo."

Phillips 66 says a quarter million barrels of crude oil would arrive at the facility each week, should the rail connector be approved.

The company says that crude would be transported on modern rail cars that exceed current regulatory safety standards.