A New Costco Gas Station in Novato: In This Climate?

Jinesse Reynolds

In March 2021, Costco proposed a mega gas station in the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center. It would be the largest gas station in Marin County with a 10,000 square-foot canopy covering 14 fuel dispensers and accommodating 28 fueling positions. Additionally, three 40,000-gallon gasoline storage tanks and one 1,500-gallon additive tank will be buried in the ground in a former marsh area.

In April 2022, seven concerned residents of Novato filed a lawsuit, arguing that the City needs to conduct an environmental review, as the project might have significant environmental impacts related to air quality and public health. In September 2022, the Marin County Superior Court agreed and decided the City needs to conduct an environmental review before moving forward.

However, the battle isn’t over yet. The City’s Environmental Impact Report is expected to be completed towards the end of 2023, and the Novato City Council will vote again on approving or denying the building of this gas station. The report will be made available for public review and comment, and we will need all hands on deck.

The City of Novato has already declared a climate emergency, and 63 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Novato are caused by transportation, according to Novato’s 2021 GHG Emissions Inventory, with 74 percent of these coming from passenger cars. As such, reducing the use of gas vehicles and switching to electric vehicles as soon as possible is a quick way to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

As the situation unfolds and the Environmental Impact Report comes out, we’ll need activists to make comment and show up against the gas station. To stay updated, please contact Silke Valentine at silkevalentine8@gmail.com.

Jinesse Reynolds is a Marin Group Executive Committee member and Co-Chair of Plastic Free Marin.