Thursday, December 1, 2016

FEEDBACK DUE By December 2, 2016: Bay Area Air Quality Management District New Draft Rule 11-18 to Reduce Health Risks

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Click here review a presentation offered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The draft rule proposes to ensure that emissions of Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs) from existing facilities do not pose an unacceptable health risk to people living and working nearby. Air District Staff estimates that hundreds of facilities throughout the Bay Area could be impacted by this new rule.

The Air District will continue to accept public comment until Friday, December 2, 2016. To submit public comment electronically, contact Victor Douglas at


Rule 11-18 would apply to all facilities whose emissions of toxic air contaminants may result in a significant risk to nearby residents and workers – this would include petroleum refineries. The purpose of Rule 11-18 is to set caps on risk from toxic air contaminants for those facilities causing the highest health impacts across the Bay Area and to require these facilities to reduce that health risk.

Petroleum refineries are significant sources of harmful pollutants on both the global scale (greenhouse gases) and local scale (toxic air contaminants and criteria pollutants). Many Bay Area residents have expressed concern about the impact of this pollution on the environment and public health. Though refinery emissions have declined over time, it is possible that as refinery operations change in the future, emissions of these pollutants could increase. In response to these concerns, the Board of Directors of the Air District has directed staff to bring forward two draft rules for the Board’s consideration, one that reflects policy recommended by some environmental advocacy organizations, and an approach recommended by Air District staff. Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and several associated organizations have recommended that the Air District adopt new Regulation 12, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining FacilityWide Emissions Limits (Rule 12-16). This rule would set numeric limits on specific refinery emissions. Rule 12-16 would apply to the Bay Area’s five petroleum refineries and three facilities associated with the refineries. The staff of the Air District has developed a different approach that directly addresses concerns about community health risks. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District staff recommendation is that the Air District adopt a new Page 2 Regulation 11, Rule 18 (Rule 11-18): Reduction of Risk from Air Toxic Emissions at Existing Facilities. 

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