Oil trains continue to run through Richmond after judge tosses lawsuit on technicality

Crude-by-rail opponents set to march and rally in Richmond Saturday
Photo posted by protesters or supporters on Twitter

Trains carrying highly volatile crude oil will continue to deliver to the Kinder Morgan rail terminal in Richmond after a judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by environmental groups seeking to halt the shipments until they are publicly vetted, according to news reports.

While the judge said he understands the “deep concern” about the train shipments, which environmentalists argue are vulnerable to explosions and fires, he ruled that the lawsuit was filed too late.

But environmental groups reportedly didn’t know that the shipments, which began in early February, were happening until after the deadline to file the lawsuit, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. According to environmental groups, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued Kinder Morgan a permit to transfer crude oil instead of ethanol from rail cars to trucks without a public hearing. The public wasn’t aware of the shipments until a media investigation exposed them, environmentalists said.

Attorneys for Kinder Morgan and BAAQMD argue the company and district have acted lawfully, the Chronicle reported.

A day before the lawsuit, environmentalists staged a peaceful protest at the Kinder Morgan facility on Canal Boulevard.

Read the Chronicle story for more details.


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