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Odor Issues at Ellwood

April 24, 2018

TO:  Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District

Re:  Venoco Permit Modifications

April 24th hearing

Dear Staff:

Citizens Planning Association has been following the issues with odors in the neighborhoods near the Ellwood Operating Facility property and we are pleased to have the opportunity to make public comment regarding the need for adequate and well-positioned H2S monitors.

The release of H2S is a health and safety issue for the residents and tourists in western Goleta. We recommend that more rather than fewer monitors be required.  

 

The H2S offsite monitor is a requirement of an Abatement Order.  There is no justification for taking this vital warning system away from the residents of the nearby area.  The Ellwood Marine Terminal monitor can't cover the EOF area, leaving this area completely unprotected.  

 

The area designated for the search for a new site only went as far east as Ellwood School, which is a long way from the EMT monitor.  During the shutdown and decommissioning of Holly and the piers, there will be a number of toxic chemicals used.  Adequate monitoring will be needed now more than ever.

 

CPA recommends that APCD keep the requirement for the off-site monitor that is closer to the neighboring communities.  A suitable location might be at the soon- to- be built Fire Station 10 site. Also, monitors need to provide readings which can be analyzed and reported within minutes.  If there is a toxic release, it is imperative that the neighbors are alerted and evacuated. 

On a more personal note, I live one mile from the Lompoc Oil and Gas Plant, so I have had first-hand experience with H2S releases.  At one point, Torch put a monitor on my property.  Perhaps you could poll the neighbors to see who might be willing to have a monitor on their property.  Also, our community is on a reverse 911 system which I hope is also in place for the Ellwood neighbors.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this very serious issue.

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