For the past 15 years, Crockett, Rodeo and the John Swett Unified School District have received $300,000 annually via a  Unocal Good Neighbor Agreement (“GNA”) negotiated in the aftermath of a 1994 toxic accident at what is today the ConocoPhillips Oil Refinery in Rodeo.  This contract included hazardous materials monitoring and environmental disaster mitigation safeguards essential to the health and welfare of potentially impacted local residents.  The GNA expires in January 2010.

Editor Note:  Actually, the GNA did not expire.  Only the funding was set for re-negotiation after 15 years.

We are concerned citizens who urge ConocoPhillips and any individuals, entities, and/or elected officials who influence its behavior to come to renegotiate the contract, as called for in the “good faith” clause of the current GNA.

Followup:  As of  May 19, 2010, the ConocoPhillips refinery in Rodeo has refused to re-negotiate funding in good faith.  All proposals have been summarily rejected by the refinery including any funding. Read the Rejection Letter

The CWG is currently exploring implementing mediation with the refinery, as stipulated in the GNA.

Followup:  Mediation failed.  The old good neighbor agreement stands but the community will not get any funds from the refinery to support it.  I have re-named the website to “Eyes on ConocoPhillips Rodeo”.

And… please sit down before continuing…

While researching the Land Use Permit for the “Clean Fuels Expansion Project”, the Community Working Group (CWG) discovered that ConocoPhillips has been using the new Hydrocracker (an integral part of the Clean Fuels Project”) for fuel production since October 2009. The project came online without the knowledge of the County Planning Commission and without satisfying all of the Conditions of Approval required by the Planning Commission for start-up.

A demand letter from the County to the refinery in November (roughly six weeks after the illegal start-up)  requesting documentation demonstrating compliance was ignored until May 2010. The County was informed by the CWG in April 2010, that the start-up had occurred and a new demand letter was sent, this time not asking “at your earliest convenience” but requiring “semi-date certain” compliance.  The County is currently in the process of evaluating the latest refinery supplied documentation. Article here.

The CGW is requesting a hearing before the County Planning Commission to voice our opinions about the refinery’s responses (and non-responses) to the demand letter. We know what is expected of the refinery.  We negotiated several of the COA sections ourselves, and have been working on the fenceline monitoring issues far longer than any of the refinery workers and vendors charged with managing it. We know what has transpired.

We demand that the County Planning Commission take proper action on behalf of the communities surrounding the refinery to protect our well being.  Isn’t that the core job description of a regulatory agency?

Please note that while editorializing, we do try to be factual.  If you know of any inaccuracies in our reporting or editorializing, please leave a public comment or email admin@crgna.org and we will correct  any misinformation that is substantiated A.S.A.P.  Thank you.

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