Category Archives: California Air Resources Board (CARB)

California Air Resources Board announces Symposium on Refinery & Chemical Industry Emissions

From a CARB email bulletin

Announcing the first Refinery and Chemical Industry Emissions Symposium

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October 23, 2018

Announcing the First Refinery and Chemical Industry Emissions Symposium

21st Century Technologies for Quantifying Fugitive and Accidental Releases

The California Air Resources Board (and other sponsors) in partnership with the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center is organizing an educational symposium on the use of modeling for emergency preparedness and response for California refineries.  The scope of the symposium will include:

  • Modeling and monitoring for both routine and emergency operations;
  • Improvements and enhancements of air modeling, air monitoring, and coordination during significant releases from refineries; and,
  • Harmonization of modeling and emergency air monitoring with recent state initiatives that require enhanced routine air monitoring at and near these facilities.

Do you have an idea/topic to share? Work you want to discuss with others? Issues you would like a solution? Share your ideas and join our mailing list with Conference Organizer Sandra Hall.


Sessions currently will focus on:

  • Review of existing/emerging modeling strategies for fitness of purpose and proper application, best approaches for risk quantification and planning purposes, and modeling of cascading effects including offsite consequences of hydrofluoric acid releases;
  • Use of models for training, drills, and exercises by first responders, industry, and local agencies to prepare for real time considerations during emergency response;
  • Synergies with newly required air monitoring under AB 617 and AB 1647; and,
  • Feasibility of enhancing leak detection and repair surveys at refineries and other chemical facilities to a continuous program based on enhanced continuous air monitoring and backward trajectory modeling.

Participants will include CARB, California air districts, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. EPA, other Interagency Refinery Task Force Agencies, local first responders, industry, academia, consultants, and citizen groups.

Currently our conference topics include but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring & Measurement
  • Modeling: Dispersion; Meteorology
  • Emissions Characterization & Inventory Development: Quantity & Speciation; Height & Plume Rise (NOX, SOX/H2S, VOCs, HAPs)
  • Data Communication & Dissemination/Notification
  • Sensors
  • Laws & Jurisdiction for Emergency & Routine Emissions
  • Community Science/AB617
  • Policy

Tentatively set for November 2019 in Northern California. We look forward to hosting you.


Sandra Hall
UC Davis Air Quality Research Center
(530) 754-8374

Visit the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center and CARB’s Refinery Air Monitoring websites.


    ISO Working Group: Benicia Deserves a Local Industrial Safety Ordinance (Part 3)

    Repost from the Benicia Herald

    ISO Working Group: Benicia Deserves a Local Industrial Safety Ordinance (Part 3)

    By Benicia ISO Working Group, June 19, 2018

    In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we examined the health effects and costs of particulates and other air pollutants and pointed out the inadequacies of Valero’ proposed air monitoring plan, now under review at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).  Today we will look at other statewide developments on air quality, and the continuing need for a LOCAL Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO).

    Valero and others have pointed out that community air monitoring programs are part of the recently adopted California Air Resources Board (CARB) statewide mandate to determine which communities are most impacted by poor ambient air quality.  The expectation is that local air districts will install community monitors on a prioritized basis, and that Benicia might qualify and benefit. This is a reference to AB 617, and we understand that Benicia could self-nominate to seek funds through AB 617. However, City staff has declined to spend time on an application, and even if it did, would likely not benefit much.  Only $5 million is available statewide for communities who qualify, with a priority on disadvantaged communities.

    At this point in time, the ISO Working Group expects a draft Benicia ISO to incorporate a provision that requires a communitywide air monitoring program, one which integrates existing programs and data collection to the extent relevant and practical. Any additional air monitoring that becomes available to Benicia through AB 617, CARB, the BAAQMD or other outside source can be integrated into the Benicia ISO’s overall plan for monitoring, oversight and correction.

    Benicia deserves better! Benicia deserves a communitywide monitoring program, not fence line only.  Benicia deserves a program that provides data and meaningful analysis and information to the general public on a 24/7, real-time basis. Valero’s current proposal will not do this, and other regional and state monitoring programs on the horizon that may include Benicia have unclear implementation dates and are severely underfunded. In the meantime, what’s in Benicia’s air remains unclear.

    A Benicia ISO will give City staff, Council members and representatives of the schools and residents a seat at the table when decisions are made concerning air monitoring and more.  A Benicia ISO will strengthen the City’s response during emergencies and “rare conditions,” and provide detailed reporting to City staff, Council members and the public during and after such events.  A Benicia ISO would improve cooperation and communication between industry and the City, County, local fire departments and regional and statewide oversight agencies.  A Benicia ISO would – after years of waiting – bring community-wide air monitors to Benicia.  A Benicia ISO would bring a strong measure of local control and locally nimble response when it comes to our own health and safety.

    Finally – and importantly – an ISO would be budget neutral for the City, supported from fees through implementation and enforcement of the ISO. Benicia’s ISO will engage the experts we need to participate as equals at the table reviewing documents and regulations on behalf of the City and community.

    Please contact the Mayor, City Council members, and Benicia’s City Manager to let them know you support a community industrial safety ordinance for Benicia.    

    The Benicia ISO Working Group is an ad hoc citizen’s group of about a dozen Benicia residents.  Since October 2017, the Working Group has been studying, writing, meeting with officials and advocating that Benicia join all other Bay Area refinery towns in passing a local community industrial safety ordinance.  More information:


      Marilyn Bardet on AB617, California’s Community Air Protection Program

      February 19, 2018

      Benicia air monitoring advocate Marilyn Bardet spoke powerfully at a recent workshop held by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board.  Her comments nicely summarize the longstanding neglect of air monitoring in Benicia and the need for state and regional agencies to include Benicia in upcoming community outreach regarding AB617, the Community Air Protection Program.

      Here is the 2-minute video clip of Marilyn and the encouraging  1-minute response from the BAAQMD’s Greg Nudd.  Below is more info and the video of the full workshop.

      Highly recommended: highly informative video of the entire 2:39 minute workshop:

      Full length video of the January 31, 2018 workshop, 2 hours 39 minutes.  (Note that audio doesn’t start until minute 13:20, and the meeting begins at 15:55.  You can move the slider forward to skip the first part.)

      MORE about AB617, the Community Air Protection Program: