Inglewood Oil (268106)

The Baldwin Hills portion of the Inglewood Oil Field, and the Las Cienegas Oil Field in South Los Angeles are among four California sites scheduled for air quality monitoring. The others are the Lost Hills, McKittrick and Midway-Sunset oil fields in Kern County.

The action taken by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is part of a new program to monitor air quality standards in communities said to be most impacted by pollution.

“The city of Culver City appreciates being chosen to participate in CARB’s air quality monitoring program for the Inglewood Oil Field,” said Culver City Mayor Thomas Small. “We’ve long been concerned about the negative impacts of oil drilling in our community. These mobile monitoring units will collect data to help inform us about next steps in transitioning this area into a future land use.”

Scientists have revealed that short- and long-term exposure to air pollutants can contribute to negative health outcomes, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and in some cases, cancer. Limited information exists, however, on how oil and gas extraction facilities affect air quality in neighboring communities.

The Study of Neighborhood Air near Petroleum Sources (SNAPS) program was established to help fill the gap using a focused community-level approach. The selected communities 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.

“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 CARB 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.”

Discussions on the SNAPS program started in November 2017 when CARB began holding public workshops, community meetings and tours of neighborhoods near oil and gas facilities. The process resulted in 56 candidate communities that were evaluated using eight metrics including CalEnviroScreen score, air pollution levels, density of oil and gas wells and community engagement, among others.

These communities are diverse in size and population, reflecting many other oil and gas communities around the state. The study involves a 3-4 month monitoring campaign in each area including air monitoring trailer installation and community meetings to gather ideas, hear concerns, foster ongoing feedback, communicate results and discuss solutions. This process is anticipated to begin in 2019 for the Inglewood Oil Field

“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,” said Executive Officer Richard W. Corey. “The SNAPS program will complement the regulation to better ensure oil and gas operations that impact nearby communities are identified and addressed.”

Culver City officials said they will provide residents with regular updates about the monitoring of the Inglewood Oil Field. Find out more about the SNAPS program at (916) 445-1104.