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No Decision Yet On Controversial Oil Refinery Expansion Proposal

There’s still no decision over a controversial proposal to add rail facilities at a Central Coast oil refinery to handle massive trainloads of crude oil shipments.

The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission wrapped up its fifth full day of hearings Friday on the Phillips 66 project in Nipomo, with a sixth hearing day now scheduled for May 16th.

The project calls for as many as three mile long trains to arrive at the facility a week with crude oil for processing.

Neighbors are concerned about the potential for accidents, as well as pollution from the trains. A number of communities along rail lines in Northern and Southern California also oppose the project because of their safety concerns. Proponents say the trains are a safe way to move oil, and that the project is important to protect, and add jobs to the Nipomo plant.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.