CONGAS Update: CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FILE CEQA LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY OF NOVATO

For Immediate Release
May 7, 2021
CONTACT: Susan Stompe (415) 897-1610, Patricia Ravitz 415-328-1703
CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FILE CEQA LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY OF NOVATO
As the world deals with ongoing issues of climate change, a coalition of concerned residents is
challenging the City of Novato’s approval of a Costco mega-gas station.
NOVATO, CA – No New Gas Novato, a group of Novato residents, has filed a California
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit challenging the City of Novato’s Negative Declaration determination and subsequent March City Council approval of a Costco 28-fueling position gas station. The group is represented by the law offices of M.R. Wolfe and Associates.
Costco has proposed adding a gas station adjacent to its existing store, located in the Vintage
Oaks Shopping Center. The project includes constructing a 10,000 square-foot canopy that will
cover 14 gas pumps that would accommodate 28 fueling positions and three 40,000-gallon
gasoline underground storage tanks. The station will occupy approximately a 1-acre portion of
the parking lot.
“The Novato City Council’s approval of this mega gas station flies in the face of the City’s Climate Emergency Resolution and its commitment to transition to a green and clean economy,” said David Fiol of No New Gas Novato. “The City does not need any additional gas stations. Novato has 12 gas stations citywide and three stations nearby (Chevron, Matt & Jeff’s, and a Shell station on the other side of the freeway, on South Novato Blvd.) Moreover, Costco’s plans to retrofit an existing store that has prospered without a gas station for close to 30 years ignores its commitment to fight climate change, which it warns “will likely cause the greatest disruption to life in human history.’” The company professes concern for sustainability, the environment, and climate change, but its business plan does not reflect this commitment.
“The City failed the residents of Novato and Marin County by approving the Costco gas station without sufficient environmental review,” said Susan Stompe of No New Gas Novato. “If built, Costco’s proposed gas station would be the largest in Marin County, massive enough to fill 28 internal combustion vehicles at the same time, bringing more toxic air pollution to our community. The State of California is going to reduce the number of gas-powered vehicles and greenhouse gas emissions, and the City of Novato needs to do its share to meet this goal.
No New Gas Novato views Costco’s plan to build new mega fuel centers at all of its stores as a
major environmental, public health, and climate debacle. Costco, the second-largest retailer
globally, uses predatory pricing to entice its members to fuel at its gas stations, causing long
queues of idling vehicles while at the same time killing independent operators.
“We are beyond disappointed with our City leadership,” said member Patricia Ravitz. “It is clear
they are not committed to reducing greenhouse gases and fighting climate change when it
approves a mega gas station to appease Costco. They have left us no option but to fight for our community and the environment. Our group name might be “No New Gas Novato,” but we are committed to stopping any additional mega gas stations in Marin County as well. We note that Safeway recently abandoned its plan to install a new gas station at its store in Petaluma in the face of broad community opposition. We invite Costco to do the same here.”
“No New Gas Novato” is a group of concerned residents and environmental activists focused on protecting the health of our community, our environment and combating climate change by fighting to stop the construction of new gas stations in Novato and greater Marin County. We support investments in renewable energy generation and electric vehicle infrastructure.
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