Notable Canadian environmental activist Tzeporah Berman to present to California board on Trans Mountain Pipeline, tar sands

November 16, 2018

Speech at Bay Area Air Quality Management District meeting will address pollution impacts of extracting, refining tar sands; board is considering proposal to expand Phillips 66 refinery to bring in more oil tankers, including tar sands

Traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands (SAN FRANCISCO, CA) — Tzeporah Berman, notable Canadian environmental activist and international programs director at, will travel to the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday, November 19, to present to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) on the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the air and water pollution impacts from the extraction and refining of tar sands crude oil. 

BAAQMD is currently considering permits for Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery to expand its wharf capacity and more than double the number of oil tankers traveling to its refinery through San Francisco Bay. Some of those oil tankers would carry tar sands. Read more: Opinion: Canada’s tar sands pipeline plan threatens Bay Area (Mercury News, October 2018)

WHAT: Board of Directors meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). This is a public meeting; local residents and the media are welcome to attend.

WHO: Several speakers have been invited to present on tar sands crude oil, including: 

  • Tzeporah Berman, international programs director at
  • Charlene Aleck, councilmember with Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia, Canada
  • Pennie Opal Plant, co-founder of Idle No More SF Bay

WHEN: 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET Monday, November 19, 2018 (Doors open at 8:45 a.m. PT ahead of the executive committee meeting at 9 a.m. PT)

WHERE: Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 375 Beale St. #600, San Francisco, CA 94105

ONLINE: This meeting will be livestreamed. To see the webcast, go to at the time of the meeting. A video of Tzeporah Berman’s speech will be posted after the meeting on the Facebook page at


Bay Area residents are concerned about the potential for increases in tar sands tankers coming to California from Canada’s existing Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Residents are also concerned about how Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands will increase refinery emissions, worsen local air quality for nearby communities, and increase the risk of a devastating oil spill. 

In August 2018, BAAQMD Chief Air Pollution Control Officer Jack Broadbent, a key decision maker on Phillips 66’s permits for the wharf expansion; John Gioia, a member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and board member of BAAQMD; and other BAAQMD board members traveled to Canada to meet with industry and First Nations representatives about the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Watch a YouTube video by Gioia about the trip and his thoughts on the risks to the Bay Area from the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

In September 2018, Indigenous leaders from British Columbia and elected officials and local activists from the Bay Area hosted a panel on the climate and air pollution connections between Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion. Read more and watch a recording of the panel: How resistance to pipelines, tankers, and refinery expansions connects frontline communities in US, Canada


Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary, virginia@stand.earth510-858-9902 (US) or 778-984-3994 (Canada)