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Crucial BAAQMD Hearing on Rule 12-16

Wednesday | May 31, 2017 | 9:30 am

Bay Area Quality Management District, New Office (as of 6/2016) | 375 Beale St. Suite 600, San Francisco, CA

The fate of Rule 12-16, which would set transparent, enforceable caps on refinery emissions—and prevent a major switch to heavier and dirtier crude oil like tar sands—could be decided at this hugely important hearing of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Board of Directors. After a thorough legal and technical analysis, our allies at Communities for a Better Environment have determined that Certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on Rule 12-16, which must occur prior to voting on Rule 12-16, cannot be allowed to go forward on May 31st.

The Draft EIR (DEIR) is so deficient by CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) standards, that moving forward on 12-16 on that basis threatens the rule’s ability to survive court challenges by WSPA (Western States Petroleum Association) and the fossil fuel industry.

We really need you to show up. Hold a sign, testify or bear silent witness to enable a successful outcome to this four-year long struggle to protect the health and safety of Bay Area communities. On May 31st, we need a massive turn-out to stand up and insist the Board direct staff to correct the deficiencies in the Rule 12-16 EIR.

Between May 31st and the end of September, staff is committed to bringing three key rules to the Board for a vote:

Rule 11-18, a detailed proposal for stiffer Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) on all stationary sources subject to Board management. This rule would subject nearly a thousand sources to the tightest Health Risk standards in the nation,
Rule 12-16, the only refinery-wide emissions cap on Greenhouse gas, particulate and toxic NOx and SOx emissions, that is ready to implement immediately,
Rule 13-1, a staff proposal for refinery-wide emission intensity caps applied only to Greenhouse gas emissions that is at the concept level and has several problems that must be remedied to be effective.
We insist the best way forward is not to continue analyzing Rule 12-16 and 11-18 in a single EIR. Rule 12-16 must be separated from consideration with Rule 11-18. Rule 11-18’s complex mix of sources, the time required to conduct HRAs, develop and implement mitigation programs, bears little or no relation with the immediate implementation of Rule 12-16 emission caps. Additionally, the environmentally superior alternative to Rule 12-16, which CEQA mandates must be analyzed in any EIR, is probably a combination of Rule 12-16 and Rule 13-1. Thus, we must insist that a corrected Rule 12-16 EIR be combined with the fully developed Rule 13-1 EIR due at the end of July, and brought to the Board for a final vote in September as currently scheduled for Rule 13-1.

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