government officials from congressman to mayor convened yesterday a
Ferry Point to dedicate the restored pier and heap praise on the Bay
Trail and Richmond’s beautiful shoreline, a more sinister struggle was
shaping up around a proposal for a new waterfront heavy industry (See
ASPHALT PLANT TO TRANSFER POLLUTION CREDITS TO JUSTIFY LOCATION ON
RICHMOND WATERFRONT, E-FORUM, August 6, 2002).
of Owens Corning officials met privately with most City Council members
this past week to tout their proposed asphalt plant on Canal Boulevard
in a portion of the former Kaiser Shipyard 3, now known as Point Potrero
Marine Terminal. This followed presentations to half a dozen Richmond
neighborhood councils over the last several weeks. Officials focused on
what would be perceived as positive aspects of the proposed plant, such
as jobs for Richmond residents and income for the Port of Richmond while
deferring or obfuscating the negative impacts, such as safety,
pollution, appearance and odors.
- At the Point Richmond
Neighborhood Council on August 28, 2002, the Owens Corning
representatives said that the total annual emission from the plant
would be about 16 tons (36,000 pounds), or 100 pounds per day. When a
similar presentation was made to City Council members on September 12,
2002, the total emissions had grown to 144.3 tons per year, or 790
pounds per day. And these are just “criteria” pollutants.
- Rent projections have
climbed to $1.3 million annually. However, much of this is function of
how much asphalt passes over the docks. Similar past leases with other
Port tenants have resulted in monumental losses for the City. A
portion was also attributed to property taxes, but nether Owens
Corning nor City officials could determine whether the amount was
based on taxes paid or the portion the City actually receives.
- Although requested in
neighborhood council meetings, Owens Corning has provided no
information on environmental or safety records. In fact, similar Owens
Corning facilities have sustained recent fires and explosions as well
as substantial penalties for environmental and safety violations.
The Point Potrero Marine Terminal is listed in the Seaport Plan as a
“Port Priority Area.” This means it cannot be a location for permanent
industrial manufacturing facilities, such as the proposed asphalt
plant. Owens Corning intends to spend $15-16 million on the plant and
is seeking a 10-year lease with an option for an additional 10 years.
The proposed location is immediately north of the historic Shipyard 3
Cafeteria, a structure listed on the National Register of Historic
Places and a part of the Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National
Historical Park. It would be cheek by jowl with two 4.2 million gallon
asphalt storage tanks, each 150 feet in diameter and 50 feet tall.
Similar tanks at three separate Owens Corning facilities have exploded
and burned within the past two years.
information, including graphics, pen the attached PDF file. Two other
PDF files are available on request. One is an expanded discussion of the
future of Shipyard 3, and the other is a letter from Tom Butt to City
Manager Isiah Turner on the same subject.