Category Archives: Air Quality

Refinery Air Watch Training Feb 2, 7 PM – get detailed data on Valero Benicia and other refineries

[Editor: Previously published – this is a tickler about the important upcoming webinar training this week. – R.S.]

Webinar: Introducing Refinery Air Watch: Radical Access to Fenceline Monitoring Data

Thursday, February 2, 7pm PST (zoom link)
Presented by the Fair Tech Collective

Air monitoring is happening at oil refinery fencelines. How can you get your hands on the data?

www.refineryairwatch.org

This one-hour webinar offers an introduction to Refinery Air Watch, (www.refineryairwatch.org), a new website that enables you to download results from fenceline air monitoring–and understand how refineries are making it hard for you to learn what’s in the air.

By the end of the session, you will be able to download data from the site and figure out what the data say about air quality at the fenceline. You will also understand where Refinery Air Watch’s data come from, what its strengths and limitations are, and what regulatory reforms are necessary to secure your right to know what you’re breathing.

Thursday, February 2, 7pm PST
Zoom link:  : Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Fair Tech Collective, founded by Gwen Ottinger, believes that science and technology can empower communities—but...
Fair Tech Collective, founded by Gwen Ottinger, believes that science and technology can empower communities—but…

 

 

Refinery Air Watch – Webinar intro to new website showing detailed data on Valero Benicia and refineries across U.S.

Webinar: Introducing Refinery Air Watch: Radical Access to Fenceline Monitoring Data

Thursday, February 2, 7pm PST (zoom link)
Presented by the Fair Tech Collective

Air monitoring is happening at oil refinery fencelines. How can you get your hands on the data?

www.refineryairwatch.org

This one-hour webinar offers an introduction to Refinery Air Watch, (www.refineryairwatch.org), a new website that enables you to download results from fenceline air monitoring–and understand how refineries are making it hard for you to learn what’s in the air.

By the end of the session, you will be able to download data from the site and figure out what the data say about air quality at the fenceline. You will also understand where Refinery Air Watch’s data come from, what its strengths and limitations are, and what regulatory reforms are necessary to secure your right to know what you’re breathing.

Thursday, February 2, 7pm PST
Zoom link:  : Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Fair Tech Collective, founded by Gwen Ottinger, believes that science and technology can empower communities—but...
Fair Tech Collective, founded by Gwen Ottinger, believes that science and technology can empower communities—but…

 

 

Refinery Air Watch – new website shows missing info on Valero Benicia and across U.S.

New Website Highlights Gaps in Communities’ Access to Air Quality Data 

https://www.refineryairwatch.org/

By email, November 16, 2022

“Refineries are being forced to measure toxic chemicals they release. But they still don’t want the people next door to know what they’re breathing,” said Dr. Gwen Ottinger, Associate Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “That’s where Refinery Air Watch comes in.”

Launched this week, RefineryAirWatch.org is a project of Ottinger’s lab, the Fair Tech Collective, graphic design firm SAYGRID, and a coalition of residents from refinery-adjacent communities in the San Francisco Bay area.

>> The site lets users download air quality data that industry and government-run websites make hard to access. It calls out refineries that take measurements but don’t make them available for download by the public. And it exposes widespread failures by the oil industry to support communities’ right to know. Out of 116 refineries in the United States, only 12 measure chemical concentrations continuously or collect data about more than one pollutant.

“In our community,” Benicia, California resident Constance Beutel said, “We went 15 years with undisclosed toxic emissions from the Valero refinery. There was no monitoring in the community so we didn’t know how dangerous our air had become.”

Click image for Benicia details at RefineryAirWatch.org.

Beutel’s group, the Good Neighbor Steering Committee, eventually established the Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program, which measures hazardous pollutants at 5-minute intervals and has publicly available data. Getting the program going was incredibly significant for the community, Beutel said: “Without actual real-time data, we in the public are unaware of the health risks and dangers we live with daily. Having RefineryAirWatch.org as a resource for us and other communities is a huge step forward for the public.”

Refinery Air Watch makes data available for download. It also uses standardized measurements of benzene, required by the Environmental Protection Agency to be taken at refineries across the U.S., to show which refineries have the largest impact on neighbors, which states have the worst polluters, and which corporations are responsible. The site’s designer, Andee Mazzocco of SAYGRID, notes “we collected data from a federally mandated data dump and transformed it into meaningful information citizens can easily access and rely on.”

“This is an environmental justice issue,” said Ottinger. “Six million people live within three miles of an oil refinery, and they’re more likely than other Americans to be people of color, low income, or both. We know that toxic emissions from refineries are one more manifestation of structural racism. But we can’t understand the full extent of the problem if we’re not insisting that refineries measure their pollution and make the data readily available for communities, scientists, and investigative journalists to analyze. Refinery Air Watch sends the message that regulatory agencies need to drastically improve their requirements for air monitoring and data access.”

Contact: 

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/