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Valero's proposed California crude-by-rail project slated for hearing

The final environmental impact report (EIR) for Valero Refining Co.'s proposed crude-by-rail project in Benicia, Calif., has been made available for comment, and a public hearing has been slated for next month.

Valero wants to transport crude oil from North Dakota to the company's Benicia refinery. The proposal calls for the company to use two 50-tanker-car trains that can carry up to 70,000 barrels of North American crude oil per day.

The Benicia Planning Commission will host a formal public hearing Feb. 8 to consider the final EIR and a use permit for the project. In anticipation of the number of speakers, the commission has slated additional meetings on Feb. 9, 10 and 11 to accept public comments on the document and permit request.

Valero's project would install a rail car unloading rack, repurpose an existing tank to include crude oil service and construct rail lines and other related infrastructure to allow the refinery to receive crude oil by rail. Currently, the refinery processes crude oil received by pipeline and marine vessels.

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