Public comments are due by noon Friday on ExxonMobil’s revised plan to truck crude oil from its Las Flores Canyon processing facility to a pumping station in Santa Maria and another in Kern County.
The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct two days of public hearings Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 on the proposal to truck crude oil produced by three offshore platforms until a pipeline becomes available.
Comments provided by the deadline will be included in documents provided to the commission for the hearings.
Planning commissioners will consider approving a revised development plan and certifying the supplemental environmental impact report that says the project will have significant and unavoidable effects from the risk of hazardous materials spills.
The trucking plan is part of ExxonMobil’s phased restart of oil production in its existing Santa Ynez Unit facilities consisting of offshore platforms Hondo, Harmony and Heritage, according to a Planning and Development Department staff report.
In a plan initially submitted in 2017, the company proposed trucking the crude oil along Highway 101 from Las Flores Canyon, located about 12 miles west of Goleta, to the Santa Maria Pumping Station site on a private section of East Battles Road, according to the staff report.
But just over a year ago, Phillips 66 announced plans to shutter its Santa Maria Refinery on the Nipomo Mesa as well as the pumping station and associated pipelines.
In response, ExxonMobil revised its proposal to include trucking the crude oil along Highway 166 to the Plains Pentland Pumping Station near Maricopa, which would be required after Phillips 66 closes the pumping station east of Santa Maria, the staff report says.
Under the proposal, trucking would take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with up to 70 trucks leaving the Las Flores Canyon site for the Santa Maria destination within a 24-hour period and 68 leaving within a 24-hour period for the Maricopa location.
Total round-trip truck trips per year would range between 24,820 and 25,550.
Planning and Development staff is recommending approval of the revised plan, with two modifications, and certification of the final supplemental EIR.
One of the two modifications would prohibit trucks from rolling during periods of heavy rain, defined as a 50% chance of receiving half an inch of rain in a 24-hour period.
To make up for the loss of trips, truck traffic would be increased from the 68 and 70 trips per day to 78 trips to either receiver site.
However, the second modification would prohibit trucks from hauling oil to the Maricopa pumping station as long as the Santa Maria station remains in operation, according to the staff report.
But up to 34 round-trip hauls to Maricopa would be allowed if the Santa Maria station is temporarily shut down for 10 consecutive days or more.
ExxonMobil has accepted the staff-recommended modifications, the staff report says.
The revised final supplemental environmental impact report is available for public review by visiting the Planning and Development Department website at www.countyofsb.org/plndev/projects/energy/ExxonMobil-InterimTrucking.sbc, where a link is also available to the staff report and project analysis.
Comments should be sent to project planner Jacquelynn Ybarra at email@example.com or David Villalobos, recording secretary for the Planning Commission, at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the noon Sept. 27 deadline.
Emailed comments should have “ExxonMobil Interim Trucking for SYU Phased Restart Project” as the subject line.
The public can watch the commission’s hearings online at http://www.countyofsb.org/ceo/csbtv/livestream.sbc or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/CSBTV20.
Those who would like to comment via Zoom during the live meeting must sign up prior to the Sept. 27 hearing. A registration link is provided at the Planning and Development website listed above.