Air Monitoring Workshop in Benicia on March 5

Air District to discuss implementation of additional air monitoring for cities near refineries

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) will hold a workshop in Benicia at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 1155 First St., from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on March 5. The workshop in Benicia is the fourth in a series of workshops that earlier stopped in Richmond, Martinez, and Vallejo.

According to the Air District, Regulation 12-Rule-15 was adopted in 2016 to implement additional air monitoring in communities located near refineries. The purpose of the workshop is provide the public “an opportunity to learn about current and upcoming monitoring at or near refineries, ask questions to Air District staff, (and) share information about their communities and their ideas about future monitoring efforts.”

While the Air District says its current regional ambient air monitoring system has over 30 air quality monitoring stations, PDB notes that none are located within Benicia’s environs. Other than a monitor located on one of Valero’s stacks, the only other Benicia air monitor is located at Ruszel Woodworks, installed by the Ruszels themselves. 

As a co-sponsor of and participant in the ISO Working Group which plans to present a draft Benicia ISO to City Council in the near future, PDB members should attend the workshop in order to determine what the Air District has planned for Benicia, the scope of the program, and when implementation will begin. While Rule 12-15 is not the rule most of us wanted back in 2016 when the Air District was considering adoption of a rule aimed at refineries’ greenhouse gases emissions, additional air monitors in Benicia through Rule 12-15 could become part of the air monitoring provisions we expect to see in a Benicia ISO. In that sense, anything Benicia gets from the Air District, so much the better, and would be supportive to a Benicia ISO.

SAVE THE DATE, March 5th, 6 to 8:00 p.m, Benicia Veterans Memorial Building, 1150 1st Street. See you there!