The critical question: will the Bay Area Air Quality Management District directly limit greenhouse gas emissions from refineries, as it does other pollutants? At its next Board of Directors meeting, we will ask the directors to instruct staff to establish enforceable, numeric caps on GHG's—something it's been unwilling to do.
The community's role is key, a fact demonstrated by the changes announced to a draft emissions regulation at the Air District committee meeting last week. (See below.) Even if you don't want to make a public statement, your presence as a concerned citizen—a witness—carries great power. Please do your best to attend.
Last March, hundreds of community members in 4 cities criticized draft refinery regulations for being too weak and slow to cut emissions of known air pollutants, including GHG's. The outcry made a difference. At its last Stationary Source meeting, March 27th, the staff announced several real improvements to Regulation 12-16, among them:
- Withdrawal of the proposed exemption for emissions exceeding target levels.
- Establishment of a permit review for changes to "crude slate", triggered by modification of the blend of crude oils brought into the refinery. Increased GHGs and other pollutants may be inferred from the slate, but the method is indirect.
- Establishment of procedures to detect and limit methane leaks from equipment and other sources.
Check BAAQMDs website, Agenda Packets & Approved Minutes, for the most recently published information.
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