The City of Oakland
intends to appeal the ruling that held the municipal ban was based on information "riddled with inaccuracies, major evidentiary gaps, erroneous assumptions and faulty analysis", reported American Shipper.California Capital & Investment Group plans to build the Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal (OBOT) on land leased from the city. The city acquired the land from the federal government after the Oakland Army Base, near the base of the Oakland-San Francisco Bridge, was closed.Said Judge Chhabria: "Regulation can be applied if the city determines that [it] would pose a 'substantial danger' to the health or safety of people in Oakland. Any such determination must be supported by 'substantial evidence'."But when the city council learned that coal was one of the commodities the terminal might handle, it responded with an ordinance banning coal operations.Judge Chhabria said the "substantial evidence" standard is deferential, that the city was right to say it has a special obligation to protect vulnerable members of its community such as Oakland residents living adjacent to the terminal, and that 'local policy makers are not required to take it on faith that existing federal or state pollution standards will adequately protect people". But Judge Chhabria said Oakland was wrong in asserting that the information before the city council "contained substantial evidence that the proposed coal operations would pose a substantial health or safety danger". "In fact, the record is riddled with inaccuracies, major evidentiary gaps, erroneous assumptions and faulty analyses, to the point that no reliable conclusion about health or safety dangers could be drawn from it," he said. He concluded that the resolution applying the coal ban was a breach of the development agreement between the city and the developer of the bulk terminal.