Thursday, September 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES—Two Los Angeles communities were among four selected Friday by the California Air Resources Board for a new program to monitor air quality near oil and gas extraction facilities.

Both the Inglewood Oil Field in Baldwin Hills and the Las Cienegas Oil Field in South Los Angeles will be involved in the Study of Neighborhood Air near Petroleum Sources (SNAPS) program, and will host mobile air monitoring units to identify and measure pollutants of concern over several months to help inform efforts to protect public health from environmental hazards, the board said.

The board also said that it is well known that short and long-term exposure to air pollutants can contribute to negative health outcomes, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and in some cases, cancer, but limited information exists on how oil and gas extraction facilities affect air quality in neighboring communities.

"Many Californians live in communities near oil and gas facilities, but we know very little about the impact of these facilities on their neighbors' health," said Chair Mary D. Nichols. "We need up-to-date information to assess whether existing standards and regulations are effective, and to lay the groundwork for any needed improvements."

The Lost Hills Oil Field, the McKittrick Oil Field and the Midway- Sunset Oil Field in Kern County also were selected for the program.

The board said the communities are diverse in size and population, reflecting many other oil and gas communities around the state, and the study involves a 3-4 month monitoring campaign in each area including air monitoring trailer installation and community meetings.

"CARB recently adopted more stringent regulations requiring enhanced inspection of oil and gas operations including pump jacks. The rules require the use of technologies including chemical sniffers to better pinpoint and repair any leaks that are identified," Executive Officer Richard W. Corey said. "The SNAPS program will complement the regulation to better ensure oil and gas operations that impact nearby communities are identified and addressed."