The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is conducting a series of four meetings of their Advisory Council over the next seven months to advance their stated goals of developing tighter emission standards for emission of particulate matter. The scientific consensus is clear. Particulate Matter (PM), the microscopic particles generated during the extraction, transport, processing and burning of fossil fuels, is the dominant cause of illnesses and deaths due to air pollution. PM is a co-pollutant of greenhouse gases (GHGs), so a reduction of PM also helps our climate.
The schedule of meetings is:
Oct 28th: Spotlight on Health Protection
Dec 9th: Policy and Stakeholder Perspectives
Feb (Date TBD): Draft Recommendations and Review of Findings
Apr (Date TBD): Air District Response
The agenda for the October meeting can be found here along with an attendee sign up for free reservations for the meeting. Although not timed out specifically on the agenda, public comment will be possible only after the conclusion of the 3 PM panel discussion and before the 3:45 PM closing discussions. This is the advisory council’s misguided idea of public input into this vital process.
It is crucial that the public express its concerns and demand immediate tighter limits on particulate matter emission. We have been fighting for limits on these refinery emissions for years. We urge community members, youth, health care professionals and others to make their voices heard at this meeting. Register and let BAAQMD know the community demands its right to participate in this process.
PM 2.5, particles smaller than 2.5 microns (1 micron – 1/1000th of a millimeter), penetrate deep into the lungs where they can stay for years. Ultra-fine PM (UFPM), which can be smaller than 0.1 microns, can pass the lung/artery barriers and enter the bloodstream. Once there, they have been shown to pass further barriers and enter the brain or placental bloodstreams.
It is clear that current standards on PM emissions do not adequately protect the public. A leading example is the refinery Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units (FCCU’s) used to break down or “crack” heavy crude oils into useable fuels. The FCCU’s are the leading sources of PM emissions in the Bay Area refineries and the major industrial source of such emissions.
After years of fighting for tighter restrictions on emissions by these units, BAAQMD is finally holding public meetings to discuss the proven retrofit technologies that can eliminate 95% of these emissions. While the refineries whine about their retrofit costs, BAAQMD has up to this point refused to allow community groups to raise the balancing “costs” of community health impacts, deferring such discussion to this October Advisory Council conference.
Now is the time to make our voices heard!
Monday, October 28th, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Breakfast served at 8:30)
Yerba Buena Room
375 Beale St.