No Costco Mega Gas Station Novato

Costco’s Cheap Gas is not Cheap!

What is the Costco Mega Gas Station?

The gas station project entails a 10,000-square-foot canopy that covers 14 fuel dispensers, which accommodate 28 fueling positions. Additionally, three 40,000-gallon gasoline underground storage tanks (UST), and one 1,500-gallon additive UST, will be buried in the ground, a former marsh tide.

This gas station would be built in the parking lot in front of the Costco Warehouse, right next to a pediatric clinic and a pristine watershed, and close to a huge wildlife area.

In September 2022 The Marin County superior court ordered Novato to set aside the approval of the Costco Gas Station from March 2021, agreeing with seven concerned residents of Novato, who filed a lawsuit in April 2021, that the city needs to conduct an environmental review because the project might have significant environmental impacts related to air quality and health risks.

The City is currently drafting an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Once a draft EIR is completed, likely towards the end of 2023, it will be made available for public review and comment. Subsequently, Planning Commission and City Council hearing dates will be scheduled.

After that the Novato City Council will vote again on approving or disapproving the building of a mega Costco gas station in the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center.

Why is it more urgent than ever to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure?

Gas Stations and burning gasoline affect our Health and Climate

Gas Stations are classified as toxic hot spots. They can have negative effects on health and air, water, and soil quality. Gasoline is made out of crude oil, a fossil fuel, and typically, contains more than 150 chemicals, including small amounts of benzene, toluene, and xylene. Benzene is a known carcinogen, toluene and xylene can cause kidney and brain damage and are the most toxic among the compounds.

Local health risks from this mega gas station will be higher because of the large number of fueling positions. Nearby road traffic of the Vintage Oaks shopping center and the busy 101 freeway also add to pollution. Vapor plumes and smoke would extend across adjacent roads and neighborhoods. Residents and workers with long-term exposure are most affected, children absorb more of it due to a greater surface area in the lungs. Children who live near gas stations have increased asthma and leukemia.

Gasoline and diesel exhaust are the single biggest source of unhealthy air pollutants  AND carbon dioxide emissions, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas that can linger in the atmosphere for thousands of years. 

Novato’s City Council was eager to approve the Costco Gas Station in 2021 because of the expected tax revenue. But now with construction delayed until 2024 because of the environmental impact report, does it still make sense to continue with construction? Especially after the Novato City Council has adopted a Climate Emergency Resolution.

Scientists urge a Net-Zero Target of 5-7 years to avoid climate chaos

The 2023 United Nations climate change report found that the Earth could pass a dangerous temperature threshold in the next decade. That could make climate disasters so extreme that we will not be able to adapt, thus urgent action should be taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions now.

If we consider the cost of a Costco Gas Station not only to local health and air quality but the global Climate Health in general, Costco’s cheap gas is not cheap. It will not make us prosperous, it fuels our addiction to fossil fuels instead. If you have lung cancer, you stop smoking; if your planet’s on fire, you stop pouring gasoline on it.

Our long-term survival in a heating planet and accelerating environmental crisis depends on stopping the burning of gas, oil, and coal and ending the era of fossil fuels. We need to switch to all clean electric energy instead!

What is the federal and state government plan?

Under vehicle-emission rules unveiled by the Biden administration in April 2023,  electric vehicles would make up as much as two-thirds of all U.S. car sales by 2031. California adopted a strict deadline for ending the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, along with six other states. California’s plans specify that 35% of new car sales will need to be zero-emission vehicles by 2026, with that number rising to 68% by 2030.

What did Novato do and should do now!

In November 2020 Novato declared a Climate Emergency.

In November 2022 Novato approved an Ordinance to prohibit New Gas Stations from being built in Novato, but because it was already under city review before the ordinance was passed the ban does not affect the planned Costco gas station.

62% of community Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Novato are caused by transportation, according to Novato’s 2020 GHG Emissions Inventory, with 79% of these coming from  passenger cars.

Hence, the most effective approach to swiftly diminish our greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a prosperous future is by transitioning exclusively to all-electric cars. Consequently, endorsing the construction of the Novato Costco Gas Station contradicts this logic and works against our goals. 


Clean air and a sustainable future are essential for us all.

Please join members of Sustainable Novato/Marin, 350Marin, Sierra Club Marin Group, Marin Conservation League, Marin Audubon Society, Green Change, Congas, 350 Bay Area, and Coltura.

Tell the Novato City Government to vote no to the largest Gas Station being built in Novato/ Marin in 2023/2024 at a time of Climate Emergency. Going backward is a dead-end road. Put people and the planet before profits!