A hearing to consider Venoco’s off-site hydrogen sulfide monitoring station in Goleta takes place Wednesday morning at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting room. The Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF) lost its off-site monitoring station at 7760 Hollister when the property was approved for development in October 2015; the oil company received a variance from the county Air Pollution Control District (APCD) to discontinue the station for a year. The company continues to have monitors and alarms at the fence for the EOF itself, which is about a mile and a half away.
In its petition to have the variance continue for one more year, Venoco states it has tried to place a new monitoring station at 16 spots where H2S would drift —the invisible gas smells noxiously sulfurous and can be toxic at high concentrations — but the landowners have refused. The only potential location they are in talks over is the corner of Hollister and Winchester Canyon Road, where a county fire station is proposed. Venoco states no H2S was detected between 2009 and 2015.
Since the Refugio Oil Spill and closure of Pipeline 901, Venoco’s onshore facility has had to empty its tanks and most of its pipes. The vapor recovery system also remains operational there, APCD spokesperson Lyz Hoffman said.
The hearing takes place at 9:30 a.m. on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building at the corner of Anapamu and Anacapa streets in downtown Santa Barbara.