Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Air District’s Board of Directors today adopted amendments to Regulation 6, Rule 5: Particulate Emissions from Refinery Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Units to further reduce particulate matter emissions from petroleum refineries. The rule is now the most health-protective and stringent regulation of its kind in the country.

Spare the Air Status

The Air District adopted Rule 6-5 in 2015 to minimize particulate matter emissions from Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Units, or FCCUs, which are the largest single source of particulate matter emissions at refineries and some of the largest individual sources of particulate matter in the Bay Area. The new amendments impose stricter FCCU control requirements to reduce health-threatening air pollution.

The region-wide health benefits of attaining and maintaining compliance with ambient air standards for particulate matter are significant. Analysis by Air District staff found that PM2.5, which is emitted from FCCUs, is the primary health threat from air pollution in the Bay Area, particularly in terms of premature mortality. The Air District has calculated that for the million people most affected, exposure to particulate matter from the Chevron refinery in Richmond increases mortality by an average of up to 11.6 deaths per year and an average of up to 6.3 deaths per year from the PBF Martinez refinery.

Rule 6–5 applies to the four refineries in the Bay Area that have FCCUs. One of these refineries already controls emissions from their FCCU with a wet gas scrubber. The other refineries may decide to install wet gas scrubbing systems to comply with the new amendments. More information is available on the Air District's Rule 6–5 web page.

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Last Updated: 7/21/2021