ExxonMobil plans to carry crude oil through Central Coast roadways with dozens of trucks. Trucks would transfer hundreds of gallons of oil per day along Highway 101. Environmentalists in the county have expressed worry about this. The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission will examine the project next month, which would begin the phased resumption of ExxonMobil offshore oil platforms and onshore processing facilities off the southern Santa Barbara County coast.
Trucks would load up at ExxonMobil Las Flores Canyon Facility to transport crude oil to refineries in Santa Maria and Maricopa. ExxonMobil would be able to carry those oil tanker trucks along Highway 101 under the proposed scheme, which environmentalists believe poses a significant risk of oil spills and accidents. Linda Krop with the Environmental Defense Center, said, “The county looks at one truck and says ‘ok, the max spill is going to be the volume in one truck,’ but there are 70 trucks a day.”
Trucking would take place seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with no more than 70 trucks on a daily basis, according to the Revised Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report. Each truck would transport around 160 barrels of crude oil, or 6,720 gallons, per day, for a daily average of 11,200 barrels, or over half a million gallons.
According to the article, oil would be trucked out whenever a pipeline was built or after seven years, whichever happened first. According to county officials, the report was also updated after the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery revealed its impending shutdown, which would force ExxonMobil to ship all of its crude oil to Kern County through Highway 166. The hearing to recommend approval or denial of the project to the board of supervisors is set for September 29 and October 1 this year. Community members must email the project planner by September 24, 2021 to participate in the hearing.