At the June 19th Benicia City Council meeting, the council voted not to move forward with a local Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO) and instead to monitor the implementation of California's new statewide regulations. Based on this meeting, Valero is working with the City of Benicia on meeting the council’s expectations. As part of our commitment, the Valero Benicia Refinery gave an update last week to the City Council, staff members and the public.
In addition to over one hundred existing community, fenceline and refinery air monitors, the Benicia Refinery will soon begin field construction on the new fenceline monitors required by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (AQMD). Valero has agreed to the City Council's accelerated timeline of six months for implementing these monitors. Valero is also developing options for an additional fenceline monitor, separate from the Bay Area AQMD’s plan, that would provide additional coverage for the limited time that Benicia has northern wind.
2017 Refinery Safety Rules
Like all refineries in California, Valero is in the process of implementing new statewide regulations which are the strictest standards for refinery safety in the United States. These regulations go above and beyond what exists at the local level – including the Contra Costa County’s ISO which was adopted almost twenty years ago (1998).
Valero is continuing to work with the City on communication improvements including incident reports within 72-hours, unified Emergency Operations Center (EOC) coordination, collaborating to establish Benicia’s evacuation plan, and increasing registration for AlertSolano.
At last week’s City Council meeting, the council again voted to continue to monitor the implementation of California’s 2017 refinery safety regulations rather than pursue discussions of a local Industrial Safety Ordinance.