P66 LUP Compliance Hearing Monday

The Contra Costa County Zoning Administrator will hold a compliance meeting Monday on the land use permit of the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo.
The meeting begins at 3:30 p.m., 30 Muir Road, Martinez.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding the county and communities have with the refinery, the Fenceline Monitoring system that is set up to alert the refinery, county, and local communities of dangerous chemicals being released, must have a working “uptime” of at least 95% on all instruments averaged over a year.  The refinery has been unable to come close to that goal, and it is a condition of their land use permit.  In spite of that the county is ready to find them within compliance.  The recommendation from staff is here:

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The Community Working Group (CWG) received this document on Thursday afternoon and felt it had to be responded to before the end of Friday to get it included in the agenda.  That is a seriously brief window.

Here is the CWG response:

Dear Zoning Administrator:

This letter is in response to the staff report for County File LP05-2048 relating to the Contra Costa County Zoning Administrator March 3, 2014 agenda topic regarding the post-construction compliance hearings required for the Clean Fuels Expansion Project (CFEP) at the Phillips 66 San Francisco (aka Rodeo) Refinery. The Fenceline Monitoring Community Working Group would like to submit the following points regarding Phillips 66’s Land Use Permit:

Phillips 66 has at no time in the life of the North FTIR fenceline monitoring equipment demonstrated that the equipment has met the requirements for 95% uptime as described in the April 16, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding.

The staff report assertion that “the substantial improvements seen in both FTIRs indicates that the applicant’s CAP has been effective” is unsubstantiated.  As shown in the staff report, the North FTIR has only been above 95% monthly operability in two of the eight months since the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) was put in place on May 30, 2013.  That the CAP has resulted in only meeting the required monthly operability 25% of the time since its inception is anything but a demonstration of its effectiveness. We note, for emphasis, that even as we write this response, the North FTIR is again down and inoperable – likely to result in yet another month that the North FTIR does not meet the requirements. (See attached notices).

While the Community Working Group is hopeful that the recent changes made to the North FTIR’s power supply will result in significantly improved performance, two months of data particularly with a third month failing to meet the requirements is completely inadequate to assess the effectiveness of the change. In fact, it indicates that the equipment so far is failing to meet the effectiveness requirements. Many modifications/improvements/changes have been made in the lifetime of the North FTIR. None have resulted in the equipment meeting the requirements specified in the MOU. And while we are hopeful, there is no data to support that this change will be different.

We have stated before, and reiterate here, that we believe this equipment has proven ineffective and that the two parties must agree on new equipment. This equipment may have been state of the art when it was agreed on many years ago, but it has proven inadequate to protect the community in a consistently operable condition.

The April 16, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between Phillips 66 (formerly ConocoPhillips), the Crockett Community Foundation, Communities for a Better Environment, and the Community Working Group states clearly the requirement that “Conoco Phillips will maintain an adjusted on-stream efficiency of 95% based on a 12-month rolling average for each technology and monitoring location listed in sections I.A 1 through 5…” There are no stipulations for projected/ expected efficiencies.  Until the 95% operability can be demonstrated (the current 12-month rolling average is a mere 68.7%) Phillips 66 is not in compliance with its Land Use Permit.


The Members of the Fenceline Monitoring Community Working Group

Howard Adams, Frank Brosnan, Janet Callahan, Bill Concannon, Danielle Fugere, Michael Kirker, Ed Tannenbaum

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1 Response to P66 LUP Compliance Hearing Monday

  1. Teagan Clive says:

    Wow, great letter. Hope it hits the spot because it sounds like you’ve suffered a lot.
    Gee, with every agency tightening up regulations on refineries, why doesn’t Contra Costa County want to do the same? I’m surprised you haven’t taken LEGAL ACTION. Meanwhile, I offer you a S.F. Chronicle article (2/27/14) “Senators focus on health effects of processing oil”. This might be a good time to send SENATOR BARBARA BOXER your report — she’s just opened a federal case for health effects in refinery towns.

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