Category Archives: Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO)

Questionable community outreach by Air District for Industrial Safety Ordinance audits

Repost from the Benicia Independent, from local emails…


From: Roger Straw
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2018 9:45 AM
Subject: FW: [BAAQMD Coalition] Questionable community outreach for Industrial Safety Ordinance audits

This is amazing – read below, from bottom, up.  (Click on the image for larger display.)  And then come back and ask a couple of questions:

  1. Does Solano County have to report to the public like this now – even under current regulations?  Do they publish a notice like the one Nancy sent from Crockett?  Is this something that our newbie “CUPA” needs to be doing on our behalf?
  2. If/when we have an ISO, what assurances do we have the Hazardous Materials staff (Contra Costa OR Solano) would be any more attentive to Benicia citizens’ needs.  (Randy Sawyer should be embarrassed by this.)

I think the Working Group could be making a big deal out of this!  I think I’ll post about it on the BenIndy.


Begin forwarded message:

On Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 3:28 PM Nancy Rieser via BAAQMD Network wrote:

The Contra Costa Health Department considers a booth behind an elementary school two blocks away from a street fair in Crockett as a “public meeting..”   They reckon that the booth where they will be twiddling their fingers while the locals drink and dance a few blocks away will meet its obligation to hold a face-to-face public meeting.

Guess we are lucky.  Martinez gets its face-to-face at a Christmas tree farm in August on National Night Out.

I called the Health Department:  The gentleman who answered the phone said that apparently nobody cares enough to hear this kind of information and they won’t hold a meeting unless they can get a guaranteed audience of 25 people.  Neither will they mail notices to individual homes about their meeting to hustle the crowds.  “It is too expensive.”


From: Ralph Dennis
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:26 PM
Subject: ISO related

I noticed in the Benicia Herald this morning two public notices for Risk Management Plans prepared by Solano County Department of Resource Management, one for Praxair and the other for Benicia’s Water Treatment Plant. These are part of the 5-year audit review process, I believe, the same reports referenced in the Contra Costa County notice you sent around the other day.

I figured there ought to be one for Valero, so I called the Solano County Department of Resource Management. Turns out the Valero plan was filed in Dec. 2017 and is still under review. The staffer I spoke with who is doing the review is suppose to call me about status. Interesting, I guess: no public meetings planned, copies of plans not available in our library (as in Contra Costa County). He seemed surprised at my question about public meetings, said he could check with management.

CCHMP public notice meetings July-Aug 2018

Progressive Dems call for Industrial Safety Ordinance, Council votes NO

By Roger Straw

At our membership meeting of June 18, PDB voted unanimously (with one abstention) to ask Benicia City Council to support the issuance of an Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO) for the City of Benicia and approve Mayor Patterson’s request to direct City Staff to review a Draft ISO.  Our recommendation was that staff report findings back to the City Council no more than 90 days from June 19, 2018.

Acting Chairperson Craig Snider drew up a resolution following our meeting expressing our concerns, and presented it at City Council the following evening, June 19.

After much discussion lasting until 1 AM, the City Council voted 3-2 to reject Mayor Patterson’s request and to wait and watch what Valero and regulatory agencies do based on recent new regional and state air monitoring regulations, and to engage Valero and regulatory agencies in discussions.

Two Council members qualified their rejection of the proposed ISO.  Council members Campbell and Schwartzman stated for the record that if Valero does not install certain Air-District-required “fenceline” air monitors within 6 months, they would vote to impose an industrial safety ordinance.  All five Council members also would like to see “community” air monitors.

Draft minutes detailing Council’s 6/19 decision read as follows:

On motion of Council Member Hughes, seconded by Council Member Schwartzman, Council approved Option #2 in the staff report, directing Staff to monitor Solano County’s implementation of Program Four, directing Staff to meet with Valero and the appropriate regulatory agencies to address the few gaps that exist between Contra Costa County’s ISO and Program #4, including more effective and frequent communications with the City, Valero, and the community, fence line monitors installed within 6 months (while that was going on, the community monitoring could be negotiated), an evacuation plan, and having a report back to the City Council the first meeting in November, on a roll call by the following vote:
Ayes: Campbell, Hughes, Schwartzman
Noes: Young, Patterson


Breaking news about the proposed Benicia Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO)

Council will meet on Tuesday, June 19.  Be there if you can!  Lots of info from the Benicia Independent below. Background and documentation at


JUNE 15, 2018 by Roger Straw
Staff for the City of Benicia posted an agenda and multiple important attachments for the June 19 City Council meeting yesterday – see links far below on this page. Most important are a 32-page Draft Industrial Safety Ordinance prepared and submitted by a local citizens’ ISO Working Group under the sure hand of … Continue reading →


JUNE 15, 2018, Excerpt from Mayor Patterson’s E-Alert
I believe we need to have a seat at the table, the public’s right to know and air monitors to restore the public trust that we are putting health, safety and welfare at the top. I am asking the … Continue reading→


JUNE 15, 2018, Repost from the Benicia Herald, by the Benicia ISO Working Group
Most of the time, you cannot see dirty air – for example you can’t see particulates.  We know that particulates increase the age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes. In fact, epidemiological studies suggest public … Continue reading →


JUNE 15, 2018 Repost from the Benicia Herald by Nick Sestanovich
More than a year after the Benicia City Council approved the first step in a two-step process to consider bringing an Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO) to Benicia, the council will resume its discussion Tuesday … Continue reading→


MAY 14, 2018 By Roger Straw
Benicia needs an Industrial Safety Ordinance – 3 important points to be made: 1.  We don’t know what is in the air, and we have asthma rates three times the state average. We need air monitors NOW, and state/regional regulations will be slow in coming. 2. ISO is budget neutral for the City. … Continue reading →