PDB Meeting – Monday, June 18th, 7:00 pm

Membership meeting Mon. June 18th, 7:00 pm

Dona Benicia Room of the Benicia Library

PRESS RELEASE June 7, 2018:

Benicia Dems to Discuss Local Industries

Two major industry-related projects are up for discussion at the next general membership meeting of the Progressive Democrats of Benicia, who will meet at the Benicia Library in the Dona Benicia Room at 7:00 p.m. on June 18. The meeting is open to the public.

On the agenda for the local group of Democrats is an overview of how the proposed Benicia industrial Safety Ordinance, or ISO, should provide “a seat at the table” for community members, including air monitoring and emergency response.  Since the near catastrophic Valero event May 5, 2017 and several weeks of flaring, a Benicia group of community activists have:

  • convened a panel of state and county experts about public safety,
  • provided information to the public on why Benicia needs an ISO,
  • met with the City Manager and Council members to listen and present the need, and
  • discussed what should be in the ISO.

The group will discuss an upcoming presentation to City Council, scheduled for June 19th, which will request that Council direct staff to consider the working group’s ISO proposal that includes air monitoring and fees to pay for the city staff and experts.

The proposed Orcem cement factory in Vallejo is the second industry item on the Progressive Dem’s program for June 18. According to the revised Project Description, which is still under review by the City of Vallejo, Orcem’s project consists of two main components: the Vallejo Marine Terminal and the Orcem cement factory, on the site of the old General Mills plant. The marine terminal component would reestablish industrial uses on the existing marine terminal site and include construction of wharf improvements and trucking and rail connections. The cement factory would involve construction and operation of an industrial facility for primarily the production of an alternative for traditional Portland cement. According to Orcem, it would import most of the raw materials used in the manufacturing process via ships docking at the marine terminal’s proposed wharf reconstruction and enhancements.

Concerns expressed about the Orcem project include analyses that show the dust produced from the cement factory would blow directly into much of South Vallejo and Mare Island, and that the plant’s proposed site is near multiple apartment complexes, single-family homes, and an elementary school and a college. Opponents also question whether increased truck traffic would result on the roads adjacent to and in and out of the proposed factory and rebuilt marine terminal, thereby increasing local air pollution in the adjoining community.

The Progressive Democrats of Benicia is a local club of Benicians with members also from Vallejo and Fairfield. PDB’s mission includes the election and appointment of public officials who encourage and promote progressive views, and issues and projects that support and protect the Benicia and Solano County communities. For more information on PDB you can visit its web site at https://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/ or contact Ralph Dennis at 502-523-2872.