RICHMOND (CBS SF) -- Richmond city officials on Friday announced a new plan for the city to phase out the handling of coal and "petcoke" at the Levin Richmond Marine Terminal in the next five years, according to Bay Area environmental groups.
In a press release issued by the the Sierra Club and Baykeeper, the city's settlement with the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation would phase out the storage of coal and petcoke -- a common term for petroleum coke, a refinery byproduct -- in the city by the end of 2026.
The settlement closes the chapter on a legal fight between the city and three fossil fuel companies after Richmond passed a 2020 ordinance calling for the end of storage and handling of the substances over three years.
The ordinance passed last year was prompted by a community effort to address the coal dust produced at the Levin Terminal.
"Thousands of local residents, including teachers and nurses, wrote complaints to the city about the scourge of coal dust after recent increases in coal handling at the Levin Terminal," the release noted. "The waterfront terminal is less than a mile away from residential neighborhoods and schools. Bay breezes carry the toxic coal dust into surrounding communities and the Bay."
"Today we can say with certainty that Big Coal's days in Richmond are numbered," said Director of the San Francisco Bay Chapter of Sierra Club and Richmond resident Virginia Reinhart in the release. "We're grateful to the local elected officials and the grassroots movement that came together to make this day possible."
for more features.