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Oakland appeals reversal of coal ban that has stalled export facility

Oakland, Calif., officials formally appealed a federal court judgment overturning a ban on transporting or storing coal in the city that has halted the development of a proposed export facility.

The appeal, unanimously supported by the Oakland City Council, is in response to a May 23 ruling by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who found that the ban did not "contain enough evidence to support the conclusion that the proposed coal operations would pose a substantial danger to people in Oakland."

Passed by the Oakland City Council in 2016, the ban was challenged in a suit filed by the developers behind the proposed Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, a multicommodity port planned for the site of the former Oakland Army Base. Local political leaders expressed concern over the project's potential environmental impact on the city.

The Oakland project is intended to provide access to the export market for Utah coal producers.

Representatives of environmental advocacy group Earthjustice confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence that the group would be joining the appeal, representing Sierra Club and San Francisco Baykeepers.