We are working to have our Bay communities join together to pass this sample resolution. Attached is the draft of the Mobile City Resolution presented on July 23, 2013.
CITY OF MOBILE
IN THE CITY COUNCIL
RESOLUTION TO PROTECT THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF LOCAL CITIZENS AND MOBILE’S DRINKING WATER SUPPLY AND NATURAL RESOURCES FROM THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF DILUTED BITUMEN DERIVED FROM THE TAR SANDS IN ALBERTA, CANADA
WHEREAS, the City of Mobile is committed to the protection of its citizens and the natural resources on which the City depends, including but not limited to: its land resources; its source of drinking water at Big Creek Lake; and its marine and aquatic resources including Mobile Harbor, Mobile River, Mobile Bay, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and the other rivers and tributaries passing through and adjacent to Mobile; and
WHEREAS, the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen that are open pit mined in the boreal forests of Alberta, Canada and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen; diluted with lighter crude oils, naptha, or natural gas condensate for transportation; and transported via pipeline, truck, or rail to refineries where it is refined into an extra heavy crude oil; and
WHEREAS, nationwide, in the last three years, there have been two major pipeline ruptures and an unreported number of minor ruptures of pipelines carrying tar sands diluted bitumen; and
WHEREAS, the July 2010 pipeline rupture in Marshall, Michigan resulted in a spill estimated to be more than 819,000 gallons of tar sands diluted bitumen that contaminated 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River and Morrow Lake. As of March 14, 2013 the spill has not been fully cleaned-up. The EPA has ordered dredging in sections of the river and in Morrow Lake Delta. The total clean-up cost reached $809 million in 2012 and is increasing, more than any non-ocean spill on record; and
WHEREAS, the March 2013 pipeline rupture in Mayflower, Arkansas spilled more than an estimated 280,000 gallons of tar sands diluted bitumen and has resulted in the evacuation of approximately 22 homes; and
WHEREAS, on July 6, 2013, a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec killing over 40 people, destroying thirty buildings, and requiring the evacuation of over 1,000 people; and
WHEREAS, the spills occurred on pipelines that had carried non-tar sands diluted bitumen for years, but had not been specifically designed, designated, or permitted to carry tar sands diluted bitumen; and
WHEREAS, tar sands diluted bitumen is heavier than water and is diluted with solvents to decrease the viscosity allowing it to flow through a pipeline;
WHEREAS, the diluting agent may separate from tar sands diluted bitumen in the event of a spill in which case the bitumen will sink quickly to the bottom causing more long term damage and making it very difficult and more expensive to clean up than other lighter crude oils; and
WHEREAS, techniques for cleaning-up tar sands diluted bitumen in marine and aquatic environments are still not fully developed and are experimental and difficult; and
WHEREAS, the proposed Ten Mile - Pascagoula pipeline runs through four miles of the Big Creek Lake watershed, (source of drinking water for Mobile, Mobile County, Prichard, Semmes, and Spanish Fort), is within 3,000 feet of Big Creek Lake, and crosses 128 streams and wetlands along the route, terminating at the Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula, MS; and WHEREAS, Tar Sands diluted bitumen is currently being shipped into Mobile via the Canadian National Railroad, loaded onto trucks in Saraland at the Arc Saraland facility, transported across the Africa Town – Cochran Bridge to the Arc Blakely terminal where it is transferred into storage tanks, and transferred for the third time into inland and ocean-going barges; the numerous transfers greatly increasing the chances of a spill, and WHEREAS there are plans published by Arc Terminals, LP to expand their storage facilities on the east bank of the Mobile River, build a railcar trans-loading and storage facility directly behind the GM&O building, and build two pipelines under the Mobile River connecting the facilities on the east bank with the facilities in downtown Mobile. It is anticipated that this infrastructure will connect to either the existing pipeline owned by Plains All American that runs from Chickasaw to the nexus of the pipeline being built to Pascagoula at the Ten-Mile Storage Facility, or to a new pipeline built through Prichard, Chickasaw, and the Eight-mile community, thereby creating a more economic method to transport material mined from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada from Mobile to the Chevron refinery and ensuring that the health and safety of the citizens and natural resources of the Mobile area must shoulder the unacceptable long term risk of an explosion or catastrophic spill; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Council of the City of Mobile, whose pledge is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, strongly opposes the transporting by pipeline of any substance within the watershed of Big Creek Lake that may represent a risk to the public drinking water supply; and to the transporting and storage of tar sands diluted bitumen, in proximity to Mobile’s natural resources, specifically Big Creek Lake, Mobile River, Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and Mobile Bay upon which the city depends; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council supports the creation of clear Federal and State guidelines for tracking the chemical composition of pipeline transported fuels so that local governments, citizens, and first responders can better understand, and plan for, the risks associated with the specific type of fuel flowing through or to their communities; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council transmit a copy of this Resolution to Alabama’s Congressional delegation, Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama State House and Senate leadership, the U.S. State Department, President of the United States, Managing Partner of Plains All American Pipeline, LP, Managing Member of Plains Southcap, L.L.C., Managing Partner of Arc Terminals, LP, Managing Partner of Arc Terminals GP, LLC, Managing Partner of Lightfoot Capital Partners LP, and the Canadian Consulate in Boston.