Baykeeper Update

Baykeeper Secures Stronger Protections on Shell Oil Site

Baykeeper has secured stronger regulations on the Shell Oil marine terminal used for delivering oil to and from tanker ships. The terminal, located adjacent to the Shell Oil Refinery on the south side of the Carquinez Strait in Martinez, annually hosts 400 ships and processes 48 million barrels of oil each year.

Last year, the California State Lands Commission issued a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in preparation for renewing the terminal's lease. The EIR examines the environmental impacts associated with the terminal’s operations, such as an increase in sediment disturbance and toxic pollutant contamination in San Francisco Bay, and seeks to mitigate those impacts when appropriate.

Baykeeper submitted extensive comments on the draft EIR, detailing specific improvements necessary to protect the Bay from potential pollution. In response, the State Lands Commission last week issued a modified final EIR that:

  • requires Shell to produce a more detailed spill prevention plan;
  • applies the most recent ballast water regulations;
  • ensures that ships visiting the Shell terminal comply with international exterior paint standards; and
  • requires Shell to clarify the site's storm water controls.

The Commission voted to renew the lease for the Shell Oil marine terminal for the next 30 years. Operating since 1915, the Shell terminal transfers and processes hydrocarbon fuels, lubricating oils and asphalt.

Baykeeper will continue to monitor industrial facilities such as the Shell terminal and advocate for the strongest protections against Bay pollution.