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Pittsburg Residents Protest Crude Oil Storage And Transfer Project

PITTSBURG (CBS SF) -- Residents in Pittsburg took to the streets Saturday afternoon to voice their opposition to a project that would create a crude oil storage and transfer facility in their backyards.

The protesters were rallying against a plan by WesPac Energy Group to modernize and reactivate an old PG&E oil storage and transfer terminal at 696 West 10th Street near downtown Pittsburg.

Saturday's rally and march began at Mariner Park and ended at Pittsburg 's City Hall.

The City Council is set to vote on the project's environmental impact report in the coming months.

As part of the project, trains, ships and pipeline would bring oil to the terminal, where it would be stored in tanks, according to WesPac.

Crude oil is a complex mixture including toxic chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A statement on WesPac's website notes that the new storage facility and transfer process will use the most up-to-date technology as well as operators and automatic control systems and will be monitored for safety 24 hours a day.

But protesters said the project will expose residents to the potential danger of crude oil leak or explosion. In addition, opponents said emissions from increased rail and ship traffic will overburden a population that already suffers from high rates of asthma and cancer stemming from industrial pollution.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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