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The danger of storing LPG rail cars along Sonoma’s 8th Street East

Posted on November 15, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun

To: Director Mansourian, Director Rabbitt, Director Gorrin, Director Fudge and Senator McGuire

Thank you for taking up the important matter of whether or not SMART will continue the practice of storing, in the winter season, 5 million gallons of potentially explosive LPG in 160 rail cars at the storage yard south of 8th Street East and Highway 121 in Sonoma.
Our family home at 21865 Hyde Road, Sonoma, is less than 2 miles from the 8th Street site. Given the potential of a spark, derailment or accidental leak from the LPG filled rail cars with devastating consequences and that there have been 37 such accidents in the US in the past 9 years, we urge you to stop this practice of storing LPG in rail cars at the 8th Street/Highway 121 site.
Due to the potential of a LPG explosion, we believe that the 8th Street site poses many untenable risks to the nearby community, wildlife and the entire Sonoma Valley for the following reasons:
1.  The site is not safe since it rests on unstable marshland soil that could shift or collapse in a flood or liquefy during an earthquake.
2. The site is adjacent to Highway 121 which is a major thoroughfare between Sonoma and Napa Valley and an explosion could harm and possibly kill drivers making their way on the road.
3. The Schellville Fire Station is in close proximity to the 8th Street site and it could be damaged or destroyed in an LPG explosion which would also impact the emergency response.
4. The site is close to the 8th Street Sanitation plant which serves Sonoma Valley and if the plant were damaged or destroyed by an LPG explosion or leak this could have devastating public health and environmental consequences.
We urge the SMART leadership and boardmembers to consider the liability posed by continuing to store LPG at the 8th Street site and the potential for devastating impacts to the community. Please make our community safer by stopping the LPG storage at the 8th Street site.
— Lisa Bagnatori, Sonoma 


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