It is well known that Propane can be extremely explosive. Having a number of huge “torpedo” tanks above ground, filled with the chemical, on a hill adjacent to San Pablo Bay and The Carquinez Straits might make an all too inviting target for evil-doers!
The following was entered in to the record at the Nov. 17, 2014 P66 REIR hearing at the CC Zoning Commission.
The original EIR did not consider terrorism or sabotage. After I brought it up as a possibility, it was finally considered, and rejected as a non-significant risk that requires no mitigation. “There is a plan already in place that deals with these threats.” The new revised EIR includes three paragraphs regarding terrorism and mirrors these sentiments.
Considering the explosive nature of propane in comparison to all other chemicals stored at the Phillips 66 refinery, I can’t help but wonder why the threat isn’t considered heightened? Without the propane tanks, there isn’t a very easy terrorist target at the refinery. With the addition of several large propane tanks, the game is changed.
In 2005 the California legislature banned .50 Caliber weapons in California. The major reason for the ban was because of the threat to refineries. While new sales are banned, old weapons that were registered by 2006 were grandfathered in. One can be bought in all neighboring states and easily transported.
Would a 50 Caliber bullet breach one of the torpedo tanks proposed? If it could, how hard would it be for a lone wolf or other evil doer the hire a boat and shoot from the bay or highway? What other weapon that is available might be feasible?
Ed Tannenbaum 11/17/2014
EDIT- 1/24/15 Here is the official response:
As noted on RDEIR page 4.6-32, the consequence analysis modeling indicates that a hazardous event resulting from sabotage would be similar to the consequences of an event at the existing facilities. Therefore, regardless of the type of action that could result in a hazardous event, the impact would be the same.
My official response – WTF?