Valero Benicia Refinery to Pay $340,000 for Air Quality Violations

Bay Area Air Quality Management District, April 24, 2017

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced today that Valero Refining Co. has agreed to pay $340,000 to settle violations at its refinery in Benicia. The settlement covers 28 notices of violation issued to the company for non-compliance with air quality regulations at its operations that occurred largely in 2014. The violations that led to this settlement were corrected soon after they were discovered.

Our residents expect area refineries to be operated within strict limits which keep our air free from harmful pollution,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District.

The Air District’s enforcement and compliance monitoring helps ensure that facilities follow air quality laws and keeps similar violations from happening again.” Violation notices included:

  • Five violations for exceedances of emission limits caused by an upset in the refinery fuel gas supply
  • Eleven involved brief violations of emission limits, ten of which were detected by monitors that continuously measure emissions from refinery equipment
  • Five were minor hydrocarbon leaks from storage tanks
  • Two involved errors in an inspection database that resulted in missed leak inspections for valves omitted from the database
  • Two violations were for smoking flares
  • Two were administrative violations
  • One violation was for running a thermal oxidizer below the temperature required by a permit condition

All settlement funds will be used to fund Air District activities such as the inspection and enforcement activities that led to this settlement.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District ( is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.

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