Here it is at last—the final hearing in the Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal, LLC v. City of Oakland trial. The lawsuit is funded by Bowie Resource Partners, the top coal producer in Utah, which hopes to own and operate a coal terminal in West Oakland near the foot of the Bay Bridge. Judge Chhabria has focused the trial on the question of whether the City of Oakland has substantial evidence to support its enforcement of a ban on coal storage and handling on the Terminal project. The City approved a Development Agreement in 2013 immunizing the project from changes in rules and regulations, but the City has the power to impose new regulations with two provisions. The first is that they hold a public hearing (which they did), and the second is that they compile substantial evidence showing that failure to impose the regulation would result in substantial danger to the health and safety of West Oakland residents and workers at the site.
The three-day trial in January is described in earlier No Coal in Oakland web posts, which you can find here. Be sure to check the NCIO website before coming because Judge Chhabria sometimes calls off or changes the date and time of a hearing. To get through federal courthouse security, you need government-issued picture ID. It’s just like airport security, only you don’t need a boarding pass. Once inside, go to the 17th floor, Courtroom 2. Wear your red “No Coal in Oakland” T-shirt in solidarity with the City of Oakland.