San Luis Obispo, California is strategizing the restoration & revitalization of 1650 coastal acres after demolition of toxic oil refinery

Back on August 15, 2022, the Phillips 66 Company applied to the County of San Luis Obispo, California for approval of a Development Plan and Coastal Development Permit (DP/CDP) to demolish the Santa Maria Refinery (SMR) facility and restore the site located at 2555 Willow Road in Arroyo Grande.

Now, on March 15, 2023, the County application, C-DRC2022-00048 Phillips 66 SMR Demolition and Remediation Project (SMR Project), was accepted for processing. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for the project.

The Planning and Building Department is reviewing the application for the Phillips 66 Refinery Demolition and Remediation Project, and hosted scoping meetings on May 13 and May 17, 2023.

The SMR Project site covers an approximately 245-acre footprint defined by a fenced boundary within 1650 acres of contiguous property held by Phillips 66.

The property is south of, and takes access from, Willow Road, surrounded by Oceano Dunes State Park to the west, agriculture uses to the south, Woodlands Village Reserve (Monarch Dunes) to the east, and Callendar-Garrett Village Reserve and agriculture use to the north.

The SMR property is within the Coastal Zone; parcel Land Use designations include Industrial, Open Space, and Agriculture.

The Santa Maria Refinery has been in operations since in 1955 producing semi-refined liquid petroleum, as well as petroleum coke and granular sulfur which are by-products of refining. The crude oil was delivered primarily from offshore platforms along the California coast and oil fields in and near the Santa Maria Valley.

The majority of crude oil was delivered to the SMR by pipeline. The remainder, which was approximately 2,000 barrels per day of petroleum-based products, was delivered by truck.

Semi-refined liquid products from the SMR were transported by pipeline as feedstocks to the Rodeo Refinery in Contra Costa County, California, for upgrading into finished petroleum products.

The petroleum coke was shipped to off-site market destinations by rail and truck and the granular sulfur was shipped to off-site market destinations by truck.

Phillips 66 recently obtained approval to transform the Rodeo Refinery, located in the community of Rodeo, in Contra Costa County, into a repurposed facility that will process renewable feedstocks into renewable diesel fuel, renewable components for blending with other transportation fuels, and renewable fuel gas.

Because the Rodeo Renewed Project will discontinue the processing of crude oil at the Rodeo Refinery, the SMR is no longer necessary to provide feedstock to the Rodeo Refinery.

Consequently, Phillips 66 ceased operations of the SMR in January 2023.

Photo courtesy of Phillips 66.

A full project description, preliminary restoration grading plans, and other Applicant-prepared studies and information will be provided in this page once they are available for public review.

You must be logged in to post a comment