Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2020  
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  Air Monitoring for Coal and Petcoke in Richmond
February 18, 2020

Despite the intense interest in coal and petcoke dust in Richmond, the ongoing AB 617 monitoring is not intended to distinguish between general PM2.5 particulates and those that are coal or petcoke dust.

There is, however, a BAAQMD plan to specifically monitor coal and petcoke dust in the future, but the AB 617 Steering Committee has not made it a priority. If you are going to attend the Steering Committee meeting on February 17, you may want to urge the Steering Committee to make it a priority. (See Meeting Agenda).

See the email below rom Greg Nudd of BAAQMD:

From: Gregory H. Nudd <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:24 PM
To: Butt, Tom <>
Cc: Jack Broadbent <>; John Gioia <>; Eady, Veronica@ARB <>; Elizabeth Yura <>; Ranyee Chiang <>; Kristen Law <>; Katherine Hoag <>; Daniel Alrick <>; Lenz, Adam <>
Subject: FW: AB 617 Monitoring for coal and coke

Mayor Butt:

Jack Broadbent asked me to respond to your question. There is some monitoring information currently available from the screening projects. The timing of the detailed monitoring for coke and coal is still a bit uncertain at this time, we’ll know more after the Steering Committee meeting at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium tomorrow night at 6 pm.

Regarding the screening projects: The three-month initial phase of the Aclima study has concluded and public tools for accessing the data will be available on Aclima’s website tomorrow night. This includes measurements of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for every street in Richmond, including those near the Levin facility and the rail lines. It might be useful to review those results. Aclima will have staff available before the Steering Committee meeting to train folks on how to access the data, in case you’d like to send some City staff to attend that. The City of Richmond is also partners with Groundwork Richmond on a project to monitor for fine particulate matter, those monitors have been online for a little while and may provide some additional insight.

Regarding detailed monitoring for coke and coal: The Air District has drafted a detailed monitoring plan for coke and coal (attached) that we’re asking the Steering Committee to prioritize at tomorrow evening’s meeting in Richmond. When we discussed this last month, the Steering Committee put higher priority on projects about traffic congestion and air toxic hot spots. We’ll see what the Steering Committee decides regarding priority.

In addition, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has funded a separate group called Human Impact Partners to study coke and coal impacts in Richmond. This group includes some researchers from UC Davis and has support from organizations like No Coal in Richmond and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. I’ve pasted in the publicly available information about their project below. I’ve also cc:d Veronica Eady at CARB to see if there is more information that can be released. I believe CARB is negotiating the final scope of work with the grantees right now. That final scope should include a timeline, but I don’t know if that’s publicly available at this time. We’re not sure how the Human Impact Partners project will interact with the Steering Committee. We hope to see that spelled out in their final agreement with CARB.

Please let me know if you have any further questions:

Greg Nudd
Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer for Policy
Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Human Impact Partners: Assessment of Coal and Petcoke Project
This project will serve Richmond. This project will conduct local air quality monitoring that detects coal-specific particulate matter air pollution at a current coal terminal in Richmond and associated rail lines.  Dispersion modeling will be conducted to create a neighborhood risk profile of ambient coal-related PM concentrations. Based on that profile, mortality, morbidity, and health services impacts expected from the measured exposure will be quantified.
Amount Requested: $256,158.00