EXPERT OPINIONS

Greg Karras has supported clients with research, advice, and technical comments on hundreds of energy infrastructure, industrial permitting, hazard investigation, environmental policy and environmental enforcement projects.  Occasionally, clients will request his professional opinion on specific scientific or factual questions related to these matters.

This page summarizes his opinions.

  • YEAR  |  2019

  • PROJECT  |  San Francisco Bay to Stockton, California Navigational Improvement Project

  • ISSUE  |  accuracy of Draft Environmental Impact Statement

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment, in collaboration with Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, San Francisco Baykeeper and the Sierra Club

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  petroleum fuel chain effects of this dredging project on climate, air quality, and environmental justice  See Sample

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  project review pending

 

  • YEAR  |  2017

  • PROJECT  |  California Air Resources Board, Strategy for Achieving California's 2030 Greenhouse Gas Target

  • ISSUE  |  accuracy of Final Environmental Impact Report

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment 

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  potential effects of delayed cuts in emissions linked to oil refined in California.  See also latest publication

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  project approved and being implemented 

 

  • YEAR  |  2017

  • PROJECT  |  Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Proposed Regulation 11, Rule 18 and Regulation 12, Rule 16

  • ISSUE  |  accuracy of Draft Environmental Impact Report

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  potential to prevent refinery emissions, safety hazards, and global and local environmental health impacts

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  abandoned after change in relevant state law

 

  • YEAR  |  2016

  • PROJECT  |  Valero Benicia Crude by Rail Project  

  • ISSUE  |  appeal of Planning Commission disapproval

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  reviews evidence for significant refinery hazard and emission impacts that could result from the proposed project, in response to an appeal of project disapproval  See Sample

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  the appeal was subsequently denied, and the project was not built  

  • YEAR  |  2015

  • PROJECT  |   Phillips 66 Carson Crude Oil Storage Capacity Project  

  • ISSUE  |  administrative petition of Negative Declaration

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment  

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  potential emissions from refining feedstock that includes a larger amount of bitumen-derived crude oils

  • PROJECT STATUS  |   project approved

 

  • YEAR  |   2014–2016

  • PROJECT  |  Phillips 66 Company Rail Spur Extension and Crude Unloading Project

  • ISSUE  |  accuracy of Environmental Impact Report

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  potential climate, air quality, and hazard impacts from project-enabled delivery and refining of lower-quality oils from the Canadian tar sands. See Sample

  • Project status: permits were denied, and project was not built

 

  • YEAR  |  2013–2015

  • PROJECT  |  Phillips 66 Company Propane Recovery Project

  • ISSUE  |  accuracy of Environmental Impact Report

  • CLIENTS  |  Communities for a Better Environment, Rodeo Citizens Association, and Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  climate, air, water, hazard and environmental justice impacts potential from undisclosed oil feedstock switch enabled by disclosed and undisclosed project components

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  permits invalidated by court on other grounds; revised project environmental review pending

 

  • YEAR  |  2013

  • PROJECT  |  Interim Investigation Report, Chevron Refinery Fire

  • ISSUE  |  root cause analysis of catastrophic refinery incident  

  • CLIENT  |  opinion invited by U. S. Chemical Safety Board

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  effectiveness and need for inherently safer technology and systems, including material substitution to process higher quality, inherently less hazardous grades of crude oil.  See Written Testimony

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  As a result of this incident investigation the Chemical Safety Board recommends requiring inherently safer systems at U.S. oil refineries 

  • YEAR  |  2011

  • PROJECT  |  Richmond General Plan Climate Element

  • ISSUE  | accuracy of Draft Environmental Impact Report  

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment  

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  climate and air quality impacts of industrial uses and land use measures to mitigate those potential impacts

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  revised General Plan adopted (2012)

 

  • YEAR  |  2009

  • PROJECT  |  Contra Costa Pipeline Project (new hydrogen pipeline)

  • ISSUE  | accuracy of Draft Environmental Impact Report  

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment  

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  pollutant emission, catastrophic hazard risk, and energy system impacts that could result from production and use of pipeline hydrogen  See Sample

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  the project subsequently was abandoned

 

  • YEAR  |  2008

  • PROJECT  |  TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Project Phase I

  • ISSUE  | accuracy of Environmental Impact Statement  

  • CLIENT  |  Natural Resources Defense Council  

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  potential climate and flare incident impacts at U.S. refineries processing bitumen-derived pipeline imports

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  project approved and operating (Phase I)

 

  • YEAR  |  2007–2010

  • PROJECT  |  Chevron Richmond Refinery Hydrogen Renewal Project  

  • ISSUE  |  accuracy of Environmental Impact Report  

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment, West County Toxics Coalition and Asian Pacific Environmental Network 

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  capacity of multiple process expansions to enable refining denser crude and potential resultant climate, air, water, hazard and environmental justice impacts

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  construction was blocked by court decision citing this expert opinion  See Sample

 

  • YEAR  |  2007

  • PROJECT  |  San Francisco Bay refinery mercury releases

  • ISSUE  |  feedstock-specific refinery source strength

  • CLIENT  |  San Francisco Baykeeper and Natural Resources Defense Council 

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  preliminary estimate of the potential range of mercury releases from refining San Joaquin Valley crude oils

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  further investigation ordered (2007–2008)

 

  • YEAR  |  2006

  • PROJECT  |  Potrero Power Plant NPDES Permit Review

  • ISSUE  |  proposed renewal of permit for outdated cooling system to continue operation of a fossil fueled power plant that the community and local government planned to replace with cleaner energy alternatives

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment, in collaboration with the City and County of San Francisco and Bayview Hunters Point Advocates

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  severity of once-through cooling system impacts on San Francisco Bay aquatic life and fisheries

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  permit subsequently revised to phase out once-through cooling (2006), power plant decommissioned (2011)

 

  • YEAR  |  2000

  • PROJECT  |  Tosco Avon Refinery NPDES Permit Review

  • ISSUE  |  appeal of weakened dioxin discharge limitation

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment  

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  significance and preventable sources of refinery dioxin discharges into the San Francisco Bay-Delta

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  weakened limit later upheld by appeals court

 

  • YEAR  |  1998–1999

  • PROJECT  |  Puget Soundkeeper Alliance v. Tesoro N.W. Co. et al.  

  • ISSUE  |  appeal of refinery discharge permit conditions

  • CLIENT  |  Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Washington Environmental Council and People for Puget Sound 

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  evidence for the environmental need for and feasibility of monitoring oil refinery effluent for dioxins

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  settlement implemented dioxin monitoring

 

  • YEAR  |  1998

  • PROJECT  |  CBE et al. versus Union Oil, Exxon  

  • ISSUE  |  citizen enforcement of Clean Water Act  

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment and other non-government organizations 

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  causes, sources, toxicity, pollution prevention and mitigation measures in the matter of selenium discharge violations by two refineries discharging to San Francisco Bay

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  settlements implemented to cut selenium mass discharges by roughly 80% and provide $4.8 million in environmental benefits

 

  • YEAR  |  1989

  • PROJECT  |  Water Quality Control Plan, San Francisco Bay / Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, California Water Resources Control Board, evidentiary hearing  

  • ISSUE  |  technology industry water pollution prevention to protect South San Francisco Bay  

  • CLIENT  |  Communities for a Better Environment

  • OPINION SCOPE  |  quantification of industrial toxic metals discharges through public sewer systems in support of the need for pollution prevention measures in Silicon Valley, CA

  • PROJECT STATUS  |  cost-effective pollution prevention measures cut toxic metals discharges from each of 110 industrial facilities by 80–100% while eliminating a workplace formaldehyde hazard (1994–1995)

© 2020 Greg Karras, G Karras Consulting