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Demonstrators speak out against Phillips 66 rail spur at Planning Commission hearing

Dan Williams

The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission is in the midst of a two-day hearing to consider the Phillips 66 rail spur project proposed near Nipomo. 

Hundreds of demonstrators protested the project Thursday outside the County Courthouse.

Eddie Scher is a spokesperson for Forest Ethics and said the demonstration was for people who will not have a chance to speak to the planning commission directly.

"People came because it's very important to them. The trains are going to come right through downtown SLO, but they're also going to go through...cities nearly all over California. About 5 million Californians live in what we call 'the blast zone,' the dangerous one mile evacuation area on either side of the tracks," said Scher.

The project would increase the amount of crude shipped by train through the Central Coast and neighboring cities.

Last month, County staff said it's recommending the commission deny the project request because of the significant environmental impacts.

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