Writing a Public Comment Letter
As part of the process, any member of our community is invited to write a Public Comment Letter that is added to the records in City Hall. These comment letters are collected together and used to define what will be studied in the Environmental Impact Report. This report is used to determine if the project is acceptable to the City of Pittsburg.
Writing a public comment letter is easy and we’ve made a step-by-step guide for you. Here’s how it works.
1. In section 1, write down which issues are of most concern to you.
For example, let’s suppose that you’re concerned about the safety of your children. Here’s a couple of examples of what you could write in your comments:
EXAMPLE A: “I live close to the proposed site and am concerned about the risk of fire or explosion.”
EXAMPLE B: “I am concerned at the increased pollution this project will cause.”
2. In section 2, write down why you are worried about this.
EXAMPLE A: “I am worried about the risk of fire because I have heard about a lot of oil pipeline accidents where people were killed or injured.” (If possible give examples – you can read about many here.)
EXAMPLE B: “I am worried about the increased pollution this project will cause because my child has asthma.”
3. In section 3, you should write down why you think this problem is foreseeable.
EXAMPLE A: “I am worried about the risk of fire because I have heard about a lot of pipeline accidents where people were killed or injured. Fires and explosions are foreseeable because the tanks are old and re-using them may not be safe.”
EXAMPLE B: “I am worried about the increased pollution this project will cause because my child has asthma. Increased pollution is foreseeable because oil will be stored in the tanks, ships will be offloading oil from the Delta, and there’ll be a lot of additional vehicles at the site.”
4. In section 4, you should write down any way you can think of mitigating this impact.
This means, describe a way to lessen the impact or make the impact acceptable to you. If there is no way of lessening the impact, you can write “There is no safe way to lessen the impact of this project.” Avoid stating an opinion – don’t use phrases like “I fear…” or “I do not believe that…” or “I think that…”
5. In section 5, you should write down an alternative you have to the project – if you *have* one.
For example, you might write “An alternative to this project might be using the site to build a new waterfront park for the residents of Pittsburg to enjoy.” Or, if you can’t think of an alternative use for the site, you might just write “No project.”
6. In section 6, you should summarize your concern by asking a direct question.
EXAMPLE A: “What steps will be taken to ensure the safety of my children in the event of fire or explosions at the proposed site?”
EXAMPLE B: “What steps will be taken to prevent an increase in pollution as a direct result of the proposed project?”
And remember: Just as we need to avoid stating opinions or emotions, it’s also important that we make sure to to ask a direct question that must be answered by WesPac.
Writing a public comment letter may seem daunting but it’s easy when you know how! Take a minute to download our template – either as a Word document that you can type into or as a PDF that you can write your answers on – and send it to the City.
Kristin Pollot, Planning Manager
City of Pittsburg, Planning Division
65 Civic Avenue
Pittsburg, CA 94565
Phone: (925) 252-6941
Fax (925) 252-4814