100 signatures reached
To: Mr. Nastri, Executive Officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District
Shame on #SCAQMD
This letter is to express our disapproval of the decision on May 12, 2017 taken by the Air District to certify a final environmental impact report authorizing the integration, expansion and crude oil switch of Tesoro’s refinery facilities in Wilmington with BP Carson, even though the report ignores the Air District’s own recent study evidencing that air pollution was drastically underestimated for the Tesoro project.
The study, conducted by a Swedish research institution, found that actual emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), smog precursors which aggravates asthma and other illnesses, are 6.4 times greater compared to the District’s inventory. These VOCs were found to have been emitted particularly by storage tanks, and the Tesoro expansion project will allow a massive increase to the existing storage capacity. Even more alarming, benzene, a known cause of leukemia, was measured at 43 times the amount the District reported!
As Harbor Area community members, we are extremely concerned with the increase of emissions of VOCs! The communities of Wilmington, Carson and West Long Beach, already deal with some of the worst air quality in the nation and these communities already suffer from a disproportionate burden of fossil fuel extraction.
Furthermore, in advancing the project, the Air District dismissed evidence that the project will allow Tesoro to bring to Los Angeles significant quantities of North Dakota crude oil, which can contain high levels of cancer-causing benzene, and Canadian tar sands. This switch to more explosive crude lies at the heart of the controversy over the project. The Air District continues to ignore the crude switch, and this significant change wasn’t studied in the environmental impact report that regulators approved on May 12, 2017.
There were so many other deficiencies in the EIR, it is unbelievable that you have approved it. We find your alignment with the Trump Administration's fossil fuel push to bring more volatile and toxic Bakken and tar sands crude oils into Southern California, without any assessment of the risks, alarming and shameful.
Harbor Area families will suffer because of this blatant display of Oil Industry pressure and dollars influencing our regional Air Quality Management District.
We are extremely disappointed in your decision and are writing in protest of your decision.
Furthermore, we are highly concerned by the lack of accountability of the Air District Governing Board by failing to hold a public hearing and consider the EIR before its certification. The Governing Board is composed of elected officials with duties and responsibilities to the public, and they should be accountable for such major decisions that will impact the health of thousands of Wilmington, Carson and West Long Beach residents.
Why is this important?
Frontline communities in Los Angeles deal with some of the worst air quality in the nation. This project will add more pollution and toxics to the air and further harm the communities- Wilmington, West Long Beach and Carson- surrounding the Tesoro refinery.
We need our allies and everyone that believes in breathing clean air, drinking clean water, and having clean land and soil is within our basic human rights to sign onto this letter to let the South Coast Air Quality Management District aware of your disapproval of the May 12, 2017 decision to certify the final environmental impact report for the Tesoro refinery merger, expansion and crude oil switch.
How it will be delivered
We will deliver our letter in person to the Air District.