Important decisions about capping, or not capping refinery emissions are being made behind closed doors at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. These closed session discussions at the last two hearings, justified by staff as "legal strategy meetings." cut public participation out of the process, which may be a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). An Environmental Impact Report is moving forward. This includes the Caps Proposal supported by the coalition of environmental justice organizations of which 350 Bay Area and 350 Marin are a part, which could take effect upon adoption. It also includes the Staff Proposal for Health Risk Assessments, which could take years of additional study to produce results. We need results now to protect frontline communities from the health effects of refining dirtier tar sands crude.
After four years of delays in implementing an update of Regulation 12 - 16 the staff continues to oppose capping refinery emissions. They are refusing to share their legal justifications for opposing caps, while continuing to cause delays and supporting industry arguments. We are getting near the end of this long period of advocacy. We cannot afford to let our last four years of organizing be in vain. The Board needs to hear our dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency in the process in which legal considerations are being discussed behind closed doors. Please plan on attending the next Board hearing on November 16. BAAQMD Board Chair John Goia says that public presence in Board meetings is essential in order to show support for our proposal. Many other Board members look to him for guidance. Please let us know that you plan on being there for the hearing November 16 at 9:30.
375 Beale St
San Francisco, CA 94105
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