In recent long Facebook strings, there have been discussions of coal trains passing through Richmond. I should point out that the City Council has already banned coal operations at any City-owned port facilities, but because of federal law preemption, we have no control over coal trains passing through Richmond, nor can we ban coal exports from privately-owned port facilities.
However, there may be some changes coming. Supervisor John Gioia, who represents us on the BAAQMD, reminded me that the BAAQMD is embarking on implementing AB617 (just passed this year) which requires the preparation of community emission reductions plans for impacted communities across California. This includes monitoring/measurement, identifying sources of emissions (and source apportionment) and developing a plan for emissions reduction. In Richmond, this will involve looking at Port operations (which include the operations, including coal, at the Port, Rail, Truck and Ship emissions) as well as the Chevron/General Chemical facilities.
I will be coordinating a meeting between the City and the Air District to discuss how we move forward on this.