Air District approves Rule 6-5, a new rule requiring Bay Area refineries to clean up their air pollution
Benicia and Bay Area environmental activists are celebrating this week after years of advocacy to get the area’s refineries to reign in the worst of their air pollution.
Our Air District’s newly adopted Rule 6-5, “Particulate Emissions from Refinery Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Units” will require refineries to install “wet gas scrubbers,” like the one at Valero Refinery in Benicia.
Andrés Soto, Benicia resident and longtime organizer for Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), worked tirelessly for years advocating for rule 6-5. In a CBE press release, Soto wrote,
“This is a huge win for environmental justice communities who have been fighting for this rule for years as a matter of racial, environmental, and climate justice. Despite a widespread misinformation campaign by the refineries and their allies of exaggerated costs that threatened our communities with doomsday scenarios, the Board of Directors made an historic vote today on behalf of disproportionately impacted communities.”
“We look forward to Chevron and PBF doing the right thing and installing wet gas scrubbers that will dramatically clean up their pollution and create numerous jobs in the process, without further delays,”
In hearing testimony before the Air District Board on Wednesday, Benicia Mayor Steve Young urged approval of Rule 6-5. He pointed out that here in Benicia…
“…we have over a decade of experience of the value of the wet gas scrubbers. Valero installed a wet gas scrubber in 2010, and emissions data has shown a significant reduction in the overall emissions of criteria pollutants since it went online. Valero voluntarily addressed the problem of PM 2.5 emissions from their cat cracker by installing the wet gas scrubber. It is past time to do the right thing for clean air in the Bay Area. Please approve Rule 6-5”
In a Wednesday blog posting, 350 Bay Area urged thank-yous for the Air District Board members who voted yes in the 19 to 3 vote to approve Rule
6-5. Thank goodness, both of Solano County’s Board members voted yes! Take a minute and send your thanks to Solano Supervisor Erin Hannigan and Suisun City Mayor Lori Wilson.
Solano Supervisor Erin Hannigan
Phone: (707) 784-6662
675 Texas Street, Suite 6500
Fairfield, CA 94533-6352
Suisun City Mayor Lori D. Wilson
City Hall: 707-421-7300
701 Civic Center Blvd.
Suisun City, CA 94585
More from 350 Bay Area:
After delaying the vote last month, the Air District Board voted this morning in favor of rule 6-5, the rule requiring refineries to clean up their air pollution.
This is a BIG deal and many activists have worked hard to make this happen. It’s been a years’ long coalition effort, but organizing works. The health and environmental justice arguments and dogged appeals to each board member (finally) paid off.
A big special thank you to our folks who stepped up to contact their representatives on the Board, and kudos to the coalition of community groups who put in years of effort. Huge gratitude to Communities for a Better Environment, Sunflower Alliance, APEN, and the health professionals from PSR and Climate Health Now. The headlines (Reuters) are already reading: Northern California requires oil refiners to slash air pollution — in which 350 Bay Area leader, Jan Kirsch, is quoted.
“I was there for the vote. Great victory for all involved. I will send a thank you to John Bauters from my esteemed home of Emeryville” — 350 Bay Area Leader
Toolkit: thank your representative!
The final vote was 19 YES and 3 NO.
The final vote was 19 YES and 3 NO.
350Bay Area Staff comment:
“The Air District Board’s decision to step up and fulfill the mandate of our regional Air District was necessary to protect lives and the health of our communities, particularly the already-disadvantaged communities in the path of the emissions monsters. We recognize that it took political courage to stand up to the refineries and other fossil fuel interests, who pulled out all the stops with an aggressive disinformation campaign as the decision neared. The community responded to this disinformation campaign robustly and with a focus on justice. That alone is a win for the Bay Area.
The win at the Air District is one that we embrace, and we welcome the eventual improvement in the air around the Bay Area. We are grateful to the large coalition of community organizations and individuals who spent many years collaborating and educating. We remain concerned that these common sense solutions that save lives and money still take so much work to enact, and are committed to continuing the work of improving air quality and phasing out fossil fuels to save lives and climate stability.”
— Nik, 350 Bay Area Staff
A well deserved celebration is in order today (YAY), and don’t forget to thank any/all representatives who voted YES in this historic vote.
For truly cleaner air,
Your 350BA Organizers
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