MARTINEZ -- Contra Costa County supervisors on Tuesday will hear two appeals of a land use permit for a propane and butane project at a Rodeo refinery. The board will also consider approving the final Environmental Impact Report of the project, sometimes formally known as the Phillips 66 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Recovery Project.

The project provides for the installation of new equipment at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo to recover and sell propane and butane from fuel gas used in the refining process.

Environmentalists in Rodeo and downwind Crockett objected, saying the project would bring noise and more pollution and warning of the dangers to nearby residents of storing large quantities of potentially explosive hydrocarbons, presumably in railroad cars.

The county Planning Commission gave its OK on Nov. 19.

The environmental advocacy group Communities for a Better Environment appealed, as did the law firm of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger on behalf of the Rodeo Citizens Association, contending that the EIR does not adequately study many of the project's potential impacts, and challenging the methodology that led to many of the findings.

The appellants also warn that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier oil, a contention that a county staff report dismisses, noting that the objective of the project, according to Phillips 66, is to recover existing volumes of propane and butane already being produced at the refinery, and not to increase the amount of the two gases beyond current levels of production. The report pegs those amounts at 4,200 barrels per day of propane and 9,300 barrels per day of butane.


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But in a Jan. 14 letter to the county in support of its appeal, Communities for a Better Environment says the EIR overstates the baseline amounts and that in reality the refinery currently produces about 2,290 and 1,880 barrels per day of propane and butane.

Tuesday's Board of Supervisors agenda, with links to staff reports and exhibits, is available online at http://bit.ly/1eS1yE3. The meeting begins at 1 p.m. at the County Administration Building in Martinez.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 or tlochner@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner

if you go
What: Contra Costa County board of supervisors
Where: County Administration Building, 651 Pine St. -- Room 107, Martinez
When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday