Chevron fire spurs air board to increase toxic pollution monitoring after releases from refineries
By Denis Cuff Contra Costa Times
Posted: 10/18/2012 07:04:10 AM PDT
Updated: 10/18/2012 07:04:38 AM PDT
SAN FRANCISCO -- A strategy for increasing toxic air pollution monitoring after refinery releases like the Aug. 6 Chevron fire in Richmond was approved Wednesday by the Bay Area's air pollution board.
The plan sets out an 18-month schedule for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to complete a series of reports and actions and adopt a new rule to track pollution from refineries.
The big cloud from the Chevron refinery in Richmond showed that the air district's monitoring system is much better suited to detecting and measuring pollutants over the long term, rather than during and after big releases, officials said.
Under the new strategy, the regional air pollution agency will hire outside experts and convene a scientific panel to suggest monitoring improvements.
"When fully implemented, this plan will significantly enhance our capabilities to be better prepared in the future," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer.
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff