A major proponent of the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal, as he explained in Part One and Part Two of this series. In Part Three of his “Letter to Oakland,” a proponent explains it’s environmental benefits – and asserts that they are not involved in the financing and development of the OBOT.
Opponents of the Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal by developers Insight Terminal Solutions and Phil Tagami of Oakland’s California Capital Investment Group, are saying that the project is going to be an environmental disaster. You might expect proponents like myself to dodge this issue. No. The environmental impact of OBOT on Oakland will be positive and because it will 100%, guaranteed, improve air quality for Oaklanders.
Right now, railroad cars that go through Oakland carry many materials, including coal, but do so with traditional, “open” rail cars. Whether this is a problem or not is debatable – but what is not debatable is that Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal covered rail cars will produce far, far less dust than the cars going through Oakland at this very moment.
Some claim “Covered rail cars have never been done before,” and is somehow a dangerous practice. Not true, as you can see in this link, for but one example. Moreover, CSX regularly transports coal ash via covered rail cars, as this website shows.
As I understand it, Insight Terminal Solutions is working with a vendor for rail car covers who has over 4 decades of experience with safe shipping of bulk commodities in rail cars in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. I’m told their products can safely handle commodities like heavy metal concentrate or low-level radioactive waste, where there is a much higher requirement for safety than for the commodities it intends to ship.
Insight Terminal Solutions has said it is committed to the safety of Oakland’s residents! Claiming ITS would sacrifice the health of the local population for a quick buck is absurd, given how much it invests in the safety of operations and the time frame of its commitment to the development of the OBOT facility.
At the same time, Insight Terminal Solutions OBOT will address an even more significant issue for air quality: the number of trucks passing through our area. A huge amount of cargo will be transferred from trucks to trains, which are far cleaner and more fuel efficient.
Thus, anyone who claims that OBOT will be increasing the amount of dust in the air or otherwise harming air quality is either misinformed or lying. The fact is that if Oakland doesn’t build this project, air quality would be harmed.
Here’s a simple truth: When OBOT is built, Oakland will have more opportunity, more jobs, and better air quality. This is not advertising; this is a fact, documented by years of studies, including more environmental studies than any California project ever. We will also be sending a message to the world: Oakland is open for business, Oaklanders want great new and technically innovative projects and are willing to work hard.