Meeting Reflections – May 9, 2023

MAY 9, 2023


Our May meeting was held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 via Zoom.


  • Call to Order
  • Quorum
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Acknowledgements
  • Announcements
  • Program: Clean the Air on Our Local Refineries
    • Gregg Karras, Environmental Consultant
    • Constance Beutel, Good Neighbor Steering Committee
    • Heidi Taylor, Healthy Martinez
    • Maureen Breenan, Haz. Mat. Committee for CoCo
    • Terry Mollica, Chair, Benicia Planning Commission
    • Kari Birdseye, Benicia City Council Member
  • Wrap Up – Actions


  • Solano County Democratic Central Committee Barbeque in the Park – May 20, 2023, Allan Witt Park in Fairfield – Important Fundraiser!
    • On-line Art Auction is going on now, up until May 20th, at this link
  • PDB is looking for members to join the ByLaw Subcommittee
  • Mayor Steve Young reported on:
    • the Benicia Water Line repair
    • the Pedestrian Bridge repair
    • the upcoming City Council meeting’s discussion of user fees
    • May 23, 2023 City Council Goal Setting


  • Gregg Karras, a scientist and environmental consultant with Community Energy reSource, provided us with useful background and perspective on challenges posed by Bay Area refinery operations.
  • Constance Beutel, of the Good Neighbor Steering Committee, gave us information how to sign up to receive push notifications when emissions exceed health limits.
  • Heidi Taylor, a Martinez resident who lives close to its refinery and is a founding member of Healthy Martinez: Refinery Accountability Group, relayed what happened in Martinez with its release of a severe level of pollutants over Thanksgiving, and how Benicia could be affected by such incidents.
  • Maureen Breenan, a member of the Hazardous Materials Committee for Contra Costa County, the Fenceline Working Group for Philipps 66 and the Sunflower Alliance, spoke about her experience with the Industrial Safety Ordinance in Contra Costa County.
  • Terry Mollica, a Benicia-based attorney and the Benicia Planning Commission Chair, discussed features and benefits of a potential Industrial Safety Ordinance here in Benicia, as well as how the need for an ISO may have increased in recent years.
  • Kari Birdseye, Benicia City Council Member, drew in part on her extensive experience in the environmental field to discuss ways in which communities can seek to protect their health and safety, and discussed the importance of SB 674.

Here is the link to the video recording of this important meeting! If asked, enter the passcode:   f5S0Qw6%

Monthly Action

Senate Bill 674: Air pollution: refineries: community air monitoring systems: fence-line monitoring systems, will come up for a vote in the Senate within days. Contact Senator Bill Dodd urging his support of this bill. Although the bill won’t be in front of the Assembly for a while, also contact Assembly Member Lori Wilson urging her support.

Next Meeting: June 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Our next meeting will focus will be a collaboration between Benicia Black Lives Matter, PDB and others. You won’t want to miss this important meeting.

See you on Zoom, Tuesday, June 13 at 7:00 PM! Please invite your friends and anyone who is interested in keeping Benicia thriving.