The fight for refinery caps on toxic and greenhouse gas emissions, continues to run up against the unwillingness of Air Management District staff to present our proposals. Our allies Eric Mar and John Avalos (working with Communities for A Better Environment, CBE) ran into scheduling barriers in getting our caps proposal on this Wednesday’s (April 20th) Board of Directors (BoD) meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). Our immediate goal must now be to get the caps proposal on the next scheduled BoD meeting (May 18 – assuming it is not cancelled as several other meetings have been). Should the May meeting be cancelled, our options will be fighting for an emergency meeting to consider emission caps.
Despite our failure to get caps on this week’s agenda, it is crucial we continue to turn out for the BAAQMD meetings. The April 20th meeting will consider several other regulations, which, yet again, fail to take the necessary and easily doable steps of protecting our communities. A regulation on Phillip 66’s coke processing facility, fails to implement “Best Available Control Technology”. This facility is the area’s largest source of sulfur dioxide – the Air Quality district is settling for a 30% reduction in emissions, when proven technology is readily available to achieve an 80% reduction.
The Board will also vote on refinery emissions monitoring. This weak regulation still allows refineries to self-monitor their fence line and refinery emissions (though it does support community off-site monitoring). It still allows refineries to hide their tar sands transitions by labeling incoming crude oil composition “proprietary”.
We need to come out to the BoD meeting on April 20th to demand:
- Placing refinery emission caps on the agenda for the next, May 18th meeting
- Demanding “Best Available Control Technology” to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions
- No secrecy around refinery feed stock composition