More than 25 groups and 40 individuals gave public comments at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (Air District) June 21st Board meeting. While the Air District had several items on their agenda that morning, Directors and stakeholders spent over three hours considering a vote on adopting and certifying an Environmental Impact Report on New Regulation 12: Miscellaneous Standards or Performance, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining Facility-Wide Emissions Limits.
Rule 12-16, which would place the nation’s first cap on greenhouse gas emissions at petroleum refineries, has been in the works at the Air District since it was proposed nearly five years ago. If passed, the rule would apply to five Bay Area refineries and three refinery-related support facilities. Contentious from the beginning, Rule 12-16 has undergone several revisions, four of which occurred in the last three weeks since the Air District’s Board meeting on May 31st. The latest revision, which the public was notified of on June 20th, would allow for refineries to operate permitted, but not fully utilized equipment, at 95% capacity.
While environmental and health groups argued to return to the version proposed on May 31st and refineries urged for more science-based decision making, both parties voiced concern and frustration over the Air District’s rulemaking and public notice process. The revision that came on June 20th in particular drew complaints that insufficient time was provided to stakeholders for a thorough review of the changes.
In closing, the Board voted 13 to 6 on a substitute motion to consider the vote at a later date no earlier than September. You can find the agenda and watch a live webcast of the meeting here.
BPC’s mission is to advance a strong industrial economy and sustainable environment in the San Francisco Bay region by providing expert advocacy and facilitation. As a leader in building coalitions and consensus, we continually seek fair and reasonable regulation with sound, integrated planning. We were encouraged to see the strong turnout at the Board meeting where many different voices were heard and will continue to monitor Rule 12-16 as it moves forward.
“The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.” – John A. Coleman CEOTags: baaqmd, GHG emissions, Rule 12-16