A district judge in the United States has annulled a ban which prohibits the transportation and export of coal through a terminal at the Port of Oakland. 

Vince Chhabria, US District Judge, Northern District of California, ruled on May 15, 2018, that the resolution applying the coal ordinance to Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal (OBOT) is invalid.

In a Development Agreement from 2013, Oakland granted OBOT the right to develop a rail and marine terminal on the portion of former Oakland Army Base known as the West Gateway. Under the agreement, the terminal would transfer shipments of bulk commodities from rail carriers to ships for export to foreign countries through the deepwater port.

However, back in 2016, the City of Oakland passed Oakland Ordinance and Resolution to prevent OBOT to transport and export coal and petroleum coke. The passing of the resolution came after protests from environmental groups which opposed to the use of coal globally and at the terminal.

OBOT filed a complaint in court in 2016, claiming “the passage of the Ordinance and Resolution have materially and substantially harmed OBOT.”

The resolution of the City of Oakland is “a breach of the development agreement”, the judge said on May 15.

“The City is therefore enjoined from relying on the resolution either to apply the ordinance to OBOT or to restrict future coal operations at the facility,” the judge ordered.

World Maritime News Staff

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