Refinery Air Monitoring

This page was last updated June 2017

 Latest Information

Real-Time Refinery Fenceline and Community Monitoring Data

Power Outage at the Valero Benicia Refinery Triggers Flaring

E-BAM at CalTrans Maintenance Yard

A power outage at the Valero refinery in Benicia triggered flaring and dense black smoke, prompting a shelter-in-place and evacuations in the city for a couple of hours Friday morning. A PG&E power disruption caused thick plumes of smoke to waft into the nearby Industrial Park. As a result, the Benicia Industrial Park was ordered to evacuate and a shelter-in-place order for students at the surrounding elementary schools.

ARB arrived on scene around 1100 on Friday, May 5th and provided emergency air monitoring support. Two particulate matter monitors were deployed during the incident:

  • The first instrument was deployed to the Benicia Fire Department,
  • A second instrument was deployed in the north east area of the Industrial Park in a CalTrans Maintenance Yard.
PM levels remained within the Good to Moderate AQI range for the duration of the incident.

SCAQMD Hearing on Torrance Refining Co. (April 2017)

The SCAQMD's Governing Board Refinery Committee will conduct an investigative hearing on air quality impacts from the ExxonMobil Torrance refinery. Speakers from federal, state, and local agencies are expected to address the issue and public comments will be accepted in the afternoon.

The board will examine the air quality impacts from recent events at the refinery.

More information for the hearing can be found on the SCAQMD Webpage.

 Information By Region

The buttons below allow you to access information by region. Information includes: refinery rules, incident reporting, hazardous materials programs, risk management plans, sheltering in-place, fenceline and community air monitoring, network and emergency response plans, refinery websites, etc.

Bay Area San Joaquin Valley Central Coast Southern California

 California Refineries: Interactive Map

This interactive map allows you to view refinery information and pertinent air monitoring data using Google Maps. Click on a refinery to see site information. On the Air Monitoring Stations overlay, you can select ARB and local Air District monitoring sites for current site-specific air quality data. Layers showing County or Air District boundaries may also be displayed.
- Refineries - Air Monitoring Stations

 ARB Response Plans and Reports

California Refineries Outreach Programs and Emergency Response Plans

add description
A 2003 overview of the California refining industry that provides a general characterization of processes, operations and throughputs for individual refineries, as well as detailed information on each refinery’s community outreach programs, community alert systems and emergency preparedness and response programs.

Refinery Air Monitoring Assessment Plan Released (July 2013)

ARB and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) released a plan to assess emergency air monitoring capabilities in communities near petroleum refineries throughout the State. This assessment is now in progress.

The 15-month project will be conducted collaboratively with local air monitoring agencies, emergency response agencies, and refineries. It will evaluate and make recommendations on the potential need for additional resources including equipment, services, staffing, and training to support local air emergency response programs.

This plan supports the mission of the Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety to improve public and worker safety through enhanced oversight of refineries, and to strengthen emergency preparedness in anticipation of any future incident. The Working Group consisted of participants from 13 agencies and departments, as well as the Governor’s office.

The plan, entitled Air Monitoring for Accidental Refinery Releases: Assessment of Capabilities and Potential Improvements Project Plan - July 2013 is available here.

Refinery Safety Report Released (February 2014)

The Governor's Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety released its final report, Improving Public and Worker Safety at Oil Refineries and it is available here.

California Refinery Emergency Air Monitoring Capabilities Report Released (May 2015)

ARB’s Monitoring and Laboratory Division and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) have completed the first volume of the Refinery Emergency Air Monitoring Assessment Report. The May 2015 report, “Objective 1: Delineation of Existing Capabilities” is now available online.

The report provides a comprehensive inventory of emergency air monitoring assets and capabilities located in and around California’s fifteen major oil refineries. It serves as the basis for the ongoing assessment and guideline development phases of the project.

To view this report, please select the links below:

 Information by Region - Bay Area

 Information by Region - San Joaquin Valley

 Information by Region - Central Coast

 Information by Region - Southern California

 Other Helpful Information

General Information

General Refinery Monitoring Information

ARB List Serve for Refineries

  • If you would like to receive email updates on State refinery regulations, you can sign-up here.