We just received word that the much-awaited Board of Supervisors review of the revised plans for the Dutra asphalt plant in Petaluma Tuesday has been postponed. It’s now going to be taken up at the Jan. 12 board meeting.

Word has it that the delay has to do with the U.S. Coast Guard getting involved.  Apparently the Coast Guard is concerned about where barges will be docked at the plant and/or how they will get in and out, and whether they will interfere with the navigability of the waters.

Barges, of course, are nothing new on the Petaluma River. So some are wondering whether there’s really a problem with the Haystack Landing site or whether this is just evidence of Assemblyman Jared Huffman and/or Rep. Lynn Woolsey getting involved in hopes of disrupting the plan.

Both have expressed concerns about the plant and said this summer they would look for ways to stop the project at state and federal levels.

Although the superivsors had already turned down the plant across from Shollenberger Park on a preliminary 3-2 vote, Dutra Materials has come back with a scaled-down version of its plans. The height of the silos, for example, has now been decreased from 76 feet to 62 and peak production has been cut from 400 to 300 tons per hour to reduce air emissions.

An added benefit of  moving the discussion to Jan. 12 is that all of the supervisors are expected to be in attendance, which could allow at least another straw vote. Valerie Brown was going to miss tomorrow’s meeting (due to her trip to Copenhagen for the climate conference) which meant there wasn’t going to be a vote anyway.

At one time, it sounded like there was a chance one or more supervisors was considering changing their vote on this and allowing the plant to be built. Are opponents now counting on the Coast Guard to save the day?

– Paul Gullixson