Historical Significant Risk Facility
|Location:||7979 Hollister Avenue|
Goleta, California 93117
|Contact Person:||Steve Greig|
|Facility Description:||The Venoco Ellwood facility is an oil and gas processing plant. Oil and gas produced by Platform Holly (approximately two miles offshore), and natural gas collected from seeps are processed to remove water, sediments, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide before being sold. Venoco took over the operations of this facility in August 1997. Prior operators included Mobil and Arco.|
Click on the thumbnails below to see full size photos of the facility.
|aerial view||gas compression equip.||gas compression equip.|
|heater treater stacks||emergency generator||meteorology tower|
Venoco’s Ellwood facility is an oil and gas processing plant. During the processing of oil and gas, this facility emits diesel exhaust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, xylene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde, as well as other compounds.
Below are the results of the health risk assessments (HRAs) performed on toxic emission inventories from 1991, 1994, 1998 and 2002.
Increased cancer risk is expressed as the number of individuals affected in a hypothetical population of one million. A significant risk is defined as 10 in one million or greater.
Non-cancer acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) related illnesses are conveyed in terms of the Hazard Index (HI). The HI is a ratio of the predicted concentration of the facility’s reported emissions to a concentration considered acceptable to public health professionals. A significant risk is defined as an HI of 1 or greater.
The risk footprints are maps of the area affected. The facility is required to notify the people living within the footprints. Footprints are only prepared for significant risks. The footprints will change as the facility reduces its emissions and may not reflect the current risk footprint.
|Cancer risk:||99 in a million|
|47 in a million|
|90.06 in a million|
|23.6 in a million|
|Acute non-cancer risk:||HI = 26|
|HI = 26|
|HI = 20.97|
|HI = 0.96|
|Chronic non-cancer risk:||HI = 3.4|
|HI = 2.1|
|HI = 2.28|
|HI = 0.05|
*The cancer risk is not considered significant because there are no residents or workers within the cancer footprint.
Risk “Driver” Pollutants
The diesel exhaust was the primary contributor to this facility’s significant risk status. Diesel exhaust is emitted from three diesel internal combustion engines. One engine is used to drive an air compressor. One engine drives an emergency firewater pump. One engine drives an emergency backup electrical generator.
Cancer: diesel engine exhaust
For more information on specific toxic pollutants, see USEPA Unified Air Toxics Web Site Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants.
Other Pollutants Emitted by this Facility
The following pollutants are also emitted during operations at this facility, but were not the primary contributors to the facility’s significant risk status.
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)
The primary goal of notification under the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Program is to inform potentially exposed individuals of significant health risks associated with toxic air emissions routinely released from facilities in Santa Barbara County. The public notification letter for this facility was sent to the affected public on June 7, 1999, and a public meeting was held in October 1999 to discuss the facility’s risk.
Because this facility’s health risk assessment indicated a significant risk, the facility operator was required to conduct an airborne toxic risk reduction audit and develop a plan to implement airborne toxic risk reduction measures.
Venoco submitted a Risk Reduction Audit and Plan (RRAP) on May 5, 2005 with revisions on June 21, 2005. The RRAP was conditionally approved by the APCD in July 2005. The risk reduction measures included the use of a diesel fuel additive to reduce the particulate matter in the diesel exhaust and posting signs outside of the cancer footprint.
The health risk assessment performed for inventory year 2002 showed that the cancer risk footprint shrunk considerably. The cancer risk extends off Venoco’s property boundary by approximately 45 meters. However, the cancer risk does not extend past Venoco’s vegetation easement and is based on a 70 year residential exposure. The public can not easily enter the area of the cancer risk footprint due to the very rugged terrain and dense vegetation. To further ensure that the public is not exposed to unnecessary risk, Venoco posted signs around the area of risk. These warning signs advise anyone from the public that they are near the area of the footprint.
The odor abatement system was removed from this facility in 1995 and the process was modified to use a state-of-the-art thermal oxidizer unit thus reducing the amount of benzene, toluene, and xylene emitted.