Yolo County News

Phase-out of Shell tank farm latest step in changing West Sacramento riverfront

Rehabbed pier now open on West Sacramento riverfront

The Mill Street Pier in West Sacramento's Bridge District provides views of a growing neighborhood and the downtown Sacramento skyline.
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The Mill Street Pier in West Sacramento's Bridge District provides views of a growing neighborhood and the downtown Sacramento skyline.

West Sacramento officials announced plans Monday to remove a petroleum tank farm, a key achievement in an ongoing effort to change the face of the city’s riverfront.

The Port of West Sacramento and Equilon Enterprises, which does business as Shell Oil Products US, have reached an agreement that will allow Shell to phase out operations of the petroleum storage facility in West Sacramento’s Pioneer Bluff district by March 2021, according to a city news release.

“This transaction is the next and biggest step forward so far in the planned de-industrialization of West Sacramento’s Pioneer Bluff district,” Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said in a written statement. “The Shell facility is one of four fuel terminals on both sides of the river which have been viewed as immovable obstacles to taking back this stretch of the waterfront to make a spectacular new district for life along the river. Building on the momentum of exciting placemaking in the Washington area and The Bridge district, as well as miles of trails along the riverbank, the agreement demonstrates West Sacramento’s resolve and leadership in creating great attractions and neighborhoods worthy of our region’s central natural asset.”

The city has targeted Pioneer Bluff for a mix of apartments, homes and retail that would connect the suburban Southport area with the rest of the city’s riverfront.

The Shell facility has been in operation since the 1940s. The plan for demolition and cleanup at the site “sends a strong signal to the real estate development community that the transition of the Pioneer Bluff district from legacy industrial operations to future riverfront mixed-use development continues to move forward,” the news release states.

The agreement provides the framework for Shell to phase out operations and clean up contamination at the site under the supervision of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The parcel is strategic to future traffic and pedestrian/bicycle projects, including the Broadway Bridge and River Walk Trail extension, as well as modifications to 15th Street between Jefferson Boulevard and South River Road, and relocation of the railroad tracks leading to the Port of West Sacramento, the news release said.

The agreement follows relocation of the Cemex cement storage silos to the port’s ship channel in 2008 and is an important step toward relocating all the fuel terminal facilities on the Sacramento River to more appropriate industrial locations in the region, according to Oscar Villegas, Yolo County supervisor and Port Commission chairman.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy