Tag Archives: Air Quality

VIDEO: Historic unveiling of Benicia’s Community Air Monitoring Program (BCAMP)

By Roger Straw, March 6, 2022

It was a LONG time coming, and thanks to the vision, hard work and persistence of Benicia activists and volunteers, Benicia now has a state-of-the-art air monitoring station just outside the Valero Benicia Refinery.

A culmination of the more than decade-long efforts of the Good Neighbor Steering Committee and a recently established and highly effective Governing Board, the Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program (BCAMP) was unveiled to the public in a webinar on March 3rd.

Benicia videographer Constance Beutel recorded the March 3 webinar, and has produced several options for you to view now (see below).

First, however, I am so proud of my friends, neighbors and all involved, and I want to offer profound thanks:

A HUGE THANK-YOU from the BenIndy!
    • Good Neighbor Steering Committee: Marilyn Bardet, Constance Beutel, Mary Frances Kelly Poh, Kathy Kerridge, Nancy Lund and attorney Dana Dean
    • BCAMP Board of Directors: Chair David Lindsay, Kathy Kerridge, Marilyn Bardet, Nancy Lund, C. Bart Sullivan
    • Argos Scientific Team, Don Gamiles, President and Founder
    • Ruszel Woodworks, accommodating and providing the site

Five Video options – BCAMP Webinar, Mar 3, 2022

Via a zoom webinar, attendees celebrated the official launch of the Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program (BCAMP), a non profit community run state of the art air monitoring system. This slightly edited (2 hour) video captures the historic launch of this critical community resource regarding air quality.

This edited video (just over an hour) from the launch of the BCAMP community project provides an overview and introduction to BCAMP, the BCAMP Board members and zoom webinar panelists.

This four-minute video is an extract from the 3/2/2022 zoom webinar launching BCAMP in Benicia, CA. It describes the state-of-the-art air monitoring equipment that is being used.
On March 2, 2022, BCAMP was publicly launched with a zoom webinar. This 6-minute video is an extract from the panelist presentation about the partnership of BCAMP with AirWatchBayArea.org

This 12-minute video extract from the zoom webinar on Mar 3, 2022 demonstrates the features and functionalities of the the BCAMP website: https://www.fenceline.org/bcamp/

Benicia Community Webinar – BCAMP Unveiling on March 3rd!

Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program-Real-time air quality data and more!

Email notice, February 24, 2024

It’s almost time for the Benicia Community Air Monitoring webinar on March 3rd, 2022 at 7 pm. Please be sure to preregister by clicking on this link: webinar registration page—or use the QR code in the flyer (see below).

This air monitoring station has been in the works for years. Finally, we’ll  be able to see what is in our air.

See you there!

 Kathy Kerridge
Interim Chair

Benicia Community Air Monitoring – Meeting Moved to March 3

City of Benicia Announcement, February 22, 2022
[Editor: See also: Save these dates for important meetings on Air District charges against Valero for continued air pollution violations – R.S.]

Air Monitoring Meeting Moved to March 3

The Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program meeting mentioned in the 02/14/22 edition of City of Benicia This Week has been moved to Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m.  Original details below…

Air Monitor Now Operational

Following recent news of Stipulated Order between Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Valero Benicia Refinery, the City Manager shares the following information:

The Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program (BCAMP*) air monitoring station is now operational.

Real-time air quality data can be accessed at this website: http://beniciacommunityairmonitoringprogram.org/.

The website provides real time and historical air quality data for the following pollutants: particulate matter, black carbon, sulfur dioxide, ozone, benzene, toluene, and xylene. A new hydrogen sulfide monitor will soon be added. The website also provides additional information including:

    • A map showing the location of the monitoring station relative to potential sources and current wind speed and direction.
    • A tab for “How to Report a Problem” with important links and phone numbers
    • A “Resource” tab that provides some background about BCAMP and Argos Scientific. Argos is the main contractor for BCAMP that provides the technical support for the instruments and data transfer to the website. This page also has links to relevant community organizations as well as local elected officials and regulators.
Learn more at BCAMP’s Unveiling Webinar:
February 24 Thursday, March 3, 7 p.m.
Register in advance for this webinar:
*BCAMP is a non-profit established for the benefit of the community to monitor ambient air quality in Benicia. BCAMP’s mission is to sample and measure local air in real time; report and archive raw data on the website; and provide education on health risks as related to air quality.

We did it! The Air District Passed the Strongest Regulation on Refinery Pollution

By Roger Straw, July 22, 2021

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, Communities For a Better Environment

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,”

Benicia Mayor Steve Young

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
Direct: 707-410-0585
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.
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