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Air quality board requires Richmond, Martinez refineries to drastically cut air pollution – Times-Herald

Air quality regulators arrive at a local refinery on Wednesday Significantly reduce air pollutants The move they admitted, created in the production of petrol, is expensive, but defended because it makes the breathing of nearby residents safer.

The Bay Area Air Quality Control District Board voted 19-3 to install special scrubbers at the Chevron Richmond Refinery and Martinez’s PBF Energy Refinery to remove pollutants from the crude oil refined into fuel. I forced it.

This decision was a huge victory for life-saving environmental groups and public health advocates. According to data released by district staff at a meeting last month, particulate matter emitted from the Chevron refinery kills 11 people early each year and six from the PBF Energy plant.

Union workers at both refineries urged the board to take action, saying they could be dismissed to offset the cost of introducing the new technology.

Oil companies say scrubbers are so expensive that many employees have to be dismissed. For example, the president of PBF Energy’s Western Region said in a recent letter that the cost of installing a scrubber would force the Martinez refinery to close. He estimated the cost to be $ 800 million, but district staff said it seemed to be about $ 255 million.

Staff estimated that if Chevron chose to go that route to pay for the new technology, it would need to reduce 62 positions and PBF128.

However, many board directors have promised to “shift” dismissed workers to new jobs and careers, and Chevron and PBF can put workers at the cost of improving local air quality. I criticized it as having sex.

Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County overseer and chair of the Air Quality Commission, said:

Under the new regulations of the district, refineries need to install “wet gas scrubbers” (devices that spray pollutants from gas streams). Without scrubbers, these pollutants are released into the atmosphere by “fluid cracking equipment”, a machine important in the process of converting crude oil to gas and diesel fuel.

Scrubbers significantly reduce air pollution and charge existing devices over what Chevron and PBF have proposed as a compromise.

Some board members were concerned that the new rules could lead to new proceedings.

Martinez city council director Marc Ros argued that it was better for the board to seek a midpoint with the refinery than to dive into years of court challenges.

“We want to go through this, I hope it sticks, I hope the court somehow arbitrates it.”-It feels like the right way for me. “No,” said Ross, who voted against the requirement.

But other directors, including Contra Costa’s supervisor John Joya, said the threat from oil companies wasn’t new. All decisions made by the Air Quality Commission over the years have caused proceedings, which he said wins every time.

“These are mostly black and Latino residents of these communities,” Gioia said of her refinery neighbors. “We have a responsibility to improve air quality and health for those who live behind the industry.”

UCSF researchers have found that the Bay Area’s black and Latino communities have higher levels of asthma than the general population. The incidence of asthma is twice the state average..

Since the Valero Refinery in Benicia already has wet gas scrubbers installed, the district decision only affects the Richmond and Martinez refineries.The· Martinez’s marathon refinery is idle during that time District staff report that there are no plans to resume refining operations.

At the meeting on Wednesday, many union workers gathered that the new regulations would do great harm to local workers.

“We are building highways and bridges and maintaining refineries,” said Chris Snyder of Operating Engineers Local 3. These are some of the most paid jobs in the Bay Area. “

However, environmentalists, doctors, Richmond and Martinez residents claimed that air pollution was killing them slowly and urged the board to approve the strictest controls possible.

Richmond Public Library activist and former librarian Tarnel Abbott said living in a heavily polluted city like Richmond was “terrifying,” but “we love where we live and are healthy. I don’t think you have to sacrifice, so refineries can operate cheaper.

“It’s very disappointing to hear the brothers and sisters of my union doing business being forced to plead for their work,” Abbott said. “I think it’s really disappointing, and I think it’s a fake.”

Air quality board requires Richmond, Martinez refineries to drastically cut air pollution – Times-Herald Source link Air quality board requires Richmond, Martinez refineries to drastically cut air pollution – Times-Herald


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