UPDATED: Community conversation focuses on rail safety
September 26, 2014
SOLANO COUNTY – A community conversation on Monday night will explore the topic of rail safety along the 73 miles of railway in Solano County.
The information session is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the County Administration Center, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield.
"The evening is about having a community conversation about our preparedness and the potential impacts from an incident along our railways," said Supervisor Linda Seifert.
Supervisor Seifert said the event format – a series of brief presentations and break out groups – is a facilitated discussion designed to raise awareness of the existing safety measures already in place throughout the county and to identify potential gaps and mitigations based on potential changes in rail traffic.
Invited speakers include representatives from the Solano County Office of Emergency Services, the Solano County Fire Chiefs Association, Valero, Union Pacific Railroad, local air quality management districts and the offices of Congressman John Garamendi and state Senator Lois Wolk. A community perspective is also being incorporated into the lineup of speakers.
County officials said the timing of the event was two-fold. September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. In addition, the City of Benicia is considering an application that would allow Valero to receive and process crude oil delivered by rail.
“We know emergency responders from across the county, including the Hazardous Materials Response Team, are prepared for a wide array of potential incidents. Proposals to process crude oil delivered by rail will change the mix of materials coming into and passing through Solano County. It is only prudent for us to explore how to increase our capability to handle the risks associated with these changes,” Supervisor Seifert said.