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Human Rights Commission endorses ‘No Coal’ ordinance in Richmond

The Human Rights and Human Relations Commission of the city of Richmond unanimously endorsed an ordinance calling for the phasing out of coal transportation by privately-owned Levin-Richmond Terminal. Monday’s vote was a new development in the contentious debate over coal and petcoke brought by train from Utah to Richmond for transport to Asia.  The legislation, co-authored by City Councilmember Eduardo Martinez, details the environmental and health damages as a result of handling the carbonaceous rock. The ordinance highlights concerns about…

Council votes on Zeneca site clean-up and development

Electrician and two-time cancer survivor Sherry Padgett could throw a baseball from her 49th Street cabling business and hit what Richmond residents call “the Zeneca site:” an eighty-seven-acre property that contains more than a century’s inheritance of hazardous waste from manufacturers including the now-defunct herbicide maker Stauffer Chemical and the European pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. Padgett calls the chemicals on the site a “witch’s brew.” Around 10 p.m. Tuesday, the City Council voted 5-2 to reverse its support for a cleanup…

Richmond waste roundup combats illegal dumping

A steady line of vehicles pulled into the parking lot of Richmond’s Galileo Club, most of them carrying old mattresses, hazardous household waste and empty propane tanks. Workers in neon vests unfastened the cushy bedding and large containers, moving and stacking the items like a well-oiled machine.  The scene was Richmond’s annual Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection drive, which this year fell on Saturday, Sept. 14. The event invites citizens of West County not only to dispose of domestic waste…

Amid health concerns, Richmond officials consider a ban on coal storage and transport

The Richmond City Council will soon consider an ordinance that would restrict the handling of coal and petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining, on port terminals in Richmond. A draft of the ordinance, introduced in December, has been approved by the city attorney, and it is expected to go to the council for a vote, although according to that office, a date has not been set yet.  The ordinance, authored by Councilmember Eduardo Martinez, calls for “the prohibition on the…

Developers present plans for Point Molate to Richmond City Council

Orton Development, Samuelson Schafer, SunCal, and Point Molate Partners each presented plans, in 20-minute chunks, to both the council and a chamber filled with protesting members of the public. The crowd, many a part of the Point Molate Alliance— a coalition of residents which that seeks to halt development on the site—carried signs, pictures, paintings and an illustrated cloth banner that said “Save Pt. Molate.” Over 30 people spoke during the public comment period to criticize and oppose the proposed plans.

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