Category Archives: BAAQMD

Two for Two

Stroke transport protocol changed: check.

Illicit crude oil transfers stopped (along with the toxic fumes and oil spills): check.

So I’m pretty happy. It appears that when we take the time to report serious problems to the right people in the right agencies, they care and they do their job of protecting us, really well apparently.  And quickly.  In under two months for the stroke protocol. In under three months for the illicit crude oil transfers. Impressive.  Kudos (again, I can’t thank these people enough) to: … Continue reading


Gobs of GOBs (and this has to change!)

BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District), quite honestly, rocks.  More specifically, Inspector Simon Winer rocks.

You’ll remember the November 4th Wall of Stink we all sucked into our eyes and lungs from the illicit crude oil transfer between Public Service Marine’s (a misnomer if there ever was one!) Jovalan barge and the Olympic Spirit barge out at Reefer Dock…

Here are the facts about that day, and the facts are outrageous.

Public Safety Marine Inc. (PSMI) was “founded in 1978 to build and operate the barge Jovalan, which transported petroleum products for public utilities in Southern California.” PSMI has been the exclusive shipper of crude oil out of VENOCO’s Ellwood, California terminal (formerly ARCO) in Santa Barbara County.

The Jovalan, a single hull barge, was state of the art in the 1980s. Not so much, however, after the 1990 Oil Pollution Act (OPA) went into effect requiring crude oil to be transferred in double-hull crafts. Yet the Jovalan continued to be given a state permit to run crude oil up from SoCal to the SF Bay Area. (In fact, its current permit does not expire until 2012.[!]) Sometime between 1990 and now, local refineries stopped accepting deliveries from single-hull crafts.  Yet VENOCO continued to load crude oil onto the Jovalan, a single-hull barge whose singular activity is transporting petroleum to the SF Bay Area.  Neither VENOCO, the Santa Barbara County Energy, nor any of those in the petroleum industry in the SF Bay Area thought this enough of a problem to speak up or do something about it. Huh?

In 2002, Harley Marine (Seattle, WA) who bought Public Service Marine and the Jovalan with it. … Continue reading

Q/A (more Q than A): The 11/4/2010 Wall of Toxic Stink

Summary of Events: Harley Marine out on Main Street is the holding company for Marine Starlight and Public Service Marine (PSM, based in Seattle). Two crude-oil tank-holding barges owned by PSM are named the Jovalan and the Olympic Spirit.  During the Fall of 2010, the Jovalan brought crude oil up from San Diego in September and Santa Barbara in November.  Each time, PSM conducted two illicit crude oil transfers from the Jovalan to the Olympic Spirit, in order to be able to deliver their crude oil (from San Diego and/or Santa Barbara) to the Conoco-Philips refinery.

QUESTION   Why would one barge need to transfer it’s hold of crude oil it had collected in Santa Barbara before delivering the crude oil to Conoco-Philips?

ANSWER   Because the Jovalan is a single-hull barge.  Conoco-Philips requires any delivery at their facility to be done from a double-hull barge/ship.

QUESTION  Are single-hull barges/ships even legal anymore in the state of California?

ANSWER  No.  In 1990, TWENTY YEARS AGO, the U.S. enacted the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) that requires oil tankers entering US ports be double-hulled, and requires the phase out of existing single-hull tankers.

QUESTION: Why is Harley Marine’s PSM allowed to run a single-hulled barge up and down our coast, and in and out of our bay? Continue reading

First responders, BAAQMD and Toxic Emissions

The AFD (Alameda Fire Department) is two for two. Or is it that BAAQMD (Bay Area Quality Control District) is two for two?  Or is it a combined failure to protect us during toxic events?

On November 4, 2010: we had a wall of toxic stink from Cardinal Point all the way to Bay Farm. My eyes, throat and lungs were burning… Continue reading