Impacts and Risks from Oil Trains and the Phillips 66 Rail Spur Project

 A Santa Barbara County Action Network Alert:

Impacts and Risks from Oil Trains and the Phillips 66 Rail Spur Project

Keeping Explosive Canadian Tar Sands Oil from Riding the Rails through Santa Barbara County

By Jane Baxter. Edited by Ken Hough. 2nd Edition: July 8, 2015 

Click here to view or download the 15-page report.

Oil Train Damage and Injury Zones On Santa Barbara County's South Coast and Guadalupe


Click here to view or download a low resolution "Oil Train Injury & Damage Zones Map." It is 9 mb. You can zoom in on details.


Visualize the ramifications of a crash of a train carrying up to 3 million gallons of crude oil along the coastline of Santa Barbara County. This would dwarf the recent Plains All-American pipeline spill at Refugio Beach (reported as 101,000 gallons), which sent oil at least as far as Redondo Beach.

(Click the title above for more information.)

Currently we have the potential for this type of train accident because three or more oil trains a week already travel south from the San Ardo oil field in Monterey County through Santa Barbara County. Now imagine the catastrophe that would result if one of these oil trains derailed with ensuing fire and explosion in one of the 11 Santa Barbara County communities that the Union Pacific Coast Line runs through.

This report details the specifics of what would happen and be at risk from such accidents. It also recommends action that could reduce future oil train traffic and keep a more explosive and more environmentally dangerous oil product from riding the rails through Santa Barbara County: opposition to the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Oil Refinery Rail Spur Project.

This alert does not evaluate the hundreds of pages of environmental impacts of the project detailed by San Luis Obispo County in the EIR for the Rail Spur and other issues raised by concerned residents, activists and government officials up and down the West Coast. It focuses on the impacts and risks in Santa Barbara County of existing oil train traffic and the increased impacts and risks that could occur if the project is approved.