Community Air Protection (AB 617)

On June 20, 2018 the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) staff conducted a second public workshop to outline the AB 617 legislation and take public comment on possible communities for inclusion in the program. The workshop was held at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. This workshop also solicited public input on prioritizing areas to be recommended for inclusion in this program by CARB.

 


 

The legislation sets out an ambitious implementation schedule. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) must set the overall direction of the program by October 1, 2018. This includes identifying impacted communities, establishing the criteria for air monitoring and local emissions reduction programs, and developing statewide strategies for reducing emissions. The local air districts also have specific roles and responsibilities.

 

On April 27, 2018, the VCAPCD submitted to CARB a technical assessment to develop an initial list of candidate communities for Ventura County.

 


 

 

VCAPCD First Year Recommendation to the California Air Resources Board

 

On July 31, 2018 the Ventura County Air Pollution Control Board approved the District staff’s recommendation that the greater Oxnard/Port Hueneme area be the highest priority region in Ventura County for inclusion in CARB’s Community Air Protection Program. District staff’s recommendation is based on our assessment that we have not identified a single or multiple sources of significant air emissions that would lead us to identify a smaller region adjacent to these source(s). This is in part based on our review of our permitted sources in the area. The greater Oxnard/Port Hueneme area is also home to several agricultural operations and these operations generally utilize pesticides and diesel equipment. In addition, the Port of Hueneme and several warehouse type distribution centers are located in the area. Heavy-duty trucks associated with these goods movement facilities move throughout the area. In summary, we are looking at a diffuse inventory of air pollution sources in this area. This will likely require additional research including community level air monitoring in several locations to identify any sources of concern. In addition, by having a larger area, the VCAPCD will have flexibility to target our incentive funds within the area as we learn more about potential issues with air pollutant sources in and adjacent to the area.

 


 

 

VCAPCD Proposed Schedule for Implementation of Best Available Retrofit Technology

 

As amended by Assembly Bill 617 (C. Garcia, Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017), Health and Safety Code section 40920.6(c) requires that on or before January 1, 2019, each local air district that is a nonattainment area for one or more air pollutants must adopt an expedited schedule for the implementation of BARCT by the earliest feasible date, but in any event not later than December 31, 2023.

 

District staff has created a BARCT rule development schedule to comply with this statutory requirement. CARB has identified four affected facilities that are subject to AB 617 BARCT requirements; the facilities are operated by Procter and Gamble, New Indy Container, California Resources (Santa Clara Valley Gas Plant), and Trinity ESC. District staff then evaluated which District rules are applicable to these facilities that may not meet BARCT requirements including Rule 74.23, Stationary Gas Turbines; Rule 74.15, Boilers, Steam Generators and Process Heaters; Rule 71.3, Transfer of Reactive Organic Compound Liquids; and Rule 74.10, Components at Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production and Processing Facilities. In addition, District development of a new rule is proposed to regulate the ozone precursor emissions from oilfield flares to address emissions from a nonemergency flare at the Santa Clara Valley Gas Plant.

 

A public meeting was held on October 30, 2018 by the District to provide the participants with the list of affected facilities and rules, rule adoption schedules and deadline to submit the written comments. No significant concerns with the proposed rule schedules were expressed by the meeting participants.

 

On December 11, 2018, the Ventura County Air Pollution Control Board will consider approval of District staff’s proposed schedule for implementation of Best Available Retrofit Technology (BARCT) to fulfill this mandate under AB 617.