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All American Asphalt - Air Sampling Initiative

Overview

In response to community concerns, South Coast AQMD is conducting a short-term air sampling and analysis initiative near the All American Asphalt facility to determine what emissions if any, are impacting nearby communities.

South Coast AQMD Air Monitoring Initiative

As technical experts committed to protecting public health, South Coast AQMD uses the most appropriate technology, methods and approaches for each air monitoring purpose, which for this case is the evaluation of gaseous air toxics (e.g. benzene, toluene and xylene) in the Irvine community. This follows strict quality control criteria and analysis based upon U.S. EPA guidance methods. These methods ensure that the data is accurate so that we can confidently compare the data with health-based thresholds and other air toxics measurement programs that have been conducted nationwide.  Samples collected are compared against typical background levels for residential or commercial areas, as well as health-based standards established by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). 

MONITORING RESULTS AND HEALTH IMPACTS

Based on the data our scientists have collected and analyzed thus far, we do not have evidence to conclude that there are elevated air toxics levels that would cause a health threat to the residents of the community near the facility. The monitoring data provides information about the overall levels of air pollution in the community. The sampling data that we have thus far have shown relatively typical (“background”) levels of toxic air pollution in the community.

ODORS

The community has been impacted by foul odors from the facility, which have typically been short-term odor events. We continue our efforts to address the odor impacts to the community. Short-term exposure to strong foul odors can cause people to experience health symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Symptoms typically go away soon after the odors are no longer detected.

The presence of foul odors does not necessarily indicate that toxic air pollutants are present at levels that would cause more serious health impacts. 



Monitoring Data

Data from this sampling effort will help guide South Coast AQMD’s next steps. The sampling results will be posted below as they become available.

Please note, many factors can contribute to slightly higher levels of pollutants on any given day such as wind direction or increase of other sources including car or truck traffic, use of paints and cleaning supplies—all of which can emit VOC’s into the atmosphere. 

Results of Air Monitoring in Communities Nearby All American Asphalt

Compounds listed in the graphs represent some of the common air toxics from operations at asphalt facilities. The complete sampling reports can be found in Table 1 below.

 

Table 1: Laboratory Results

Lab ID

Sample Date

Notes

2034324

12/2/2020

Results are within typical background levels and below OEHHA health-based exposure levels. Sample at Northwood High School invalidated. *

 

 12/8/2020

Sampling cancelled due to the nearby Bond wildfire.

2035301

 12/17/2020

Results are within typical background levels and below OEHHA health-based exposure levels.  Sample at Canyon View Elementary invalidated.*

2035901

2035902

 12/23/2020

Results are within typical background levels. The sample at Canyon View Elementary (2035901) showed slightly higher levels of methylene chloride and styrene but are well below OEHHA health-based exposure levels. All other results are also below OEHHA health-based exposure levels.

2036601

 12/29/2020

Results are within typical background levels and below OEHHA health-based exposure levels.  Sample at Canyon View Elementary invalidated.*

 

 1/8/2021

Samples at Canyon View Elementary and Northwood High School invalidated.*

2101506

 1/14/2021

Results are within typical background levels. Sample at Northwood High School invalidated.*

2101922

1/15/2021

Results are within typical background levels.  Sample at Canyon View Elementary School invalidated.* 

 

1/18/2021

Samples at Canyon View Elementary and Northwood High School invalidated.*

 

2102901
2102902
2102903

1/28/2021

Results are within typical background levels.  

2103514
2103515
2103516

2/3/2021

Results are within typical background levels.

2104112
2104113
2104114

2/9/2021

Results are within typical background levels.

 

2104801
2104802
2104803

2/15/2021

Results are within typical background levels.

 

2105401
2105402
2105403

2/21/2021

Results are within typical background levels. 


2106103
2106104
2106105

2/27/2021

Results are within typical background levels.


* South Coast AQMD follows strict quality control procedures and may invalidate a sample due to a variety of reasons which includes equipment malfunction, loss of power, and operational issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. South Coast AQMD works to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

Sampling Locations

Two sampling locations were selected as part of the initial effort; one located at Northwood High School, and the other at Canyon View Elementary. Sampling efforts at a third location, Eastwood Elementary School, began on January 28, 2020 (Figure 1). Many factors contributed to the selection of the sample sites including proximity to the facility, odor complaints and communities impacted.

Figure 1

Sampling Locations

Other Monitoring Efforts In This Community

Blake Lab: Community members are working with advisors at UC Irvine to collect a small number of short-term air samples. These “grab samples” were analyzed in the laboratory for gaseous air toxics, and the effort sought to compare levels in samples collected during odor events to those collected when no odors were present. The data from these sampling efforts are posted here: https://sites.uci.edu/rowlandblakelab/.

City of Irvine: The City of Irvine hired a contractor to collect and analyze some air samples at and near the facility. The data from these sampling efforts are posted here: https://www.cityofirvine.org/community-development/all-american-asphalt-air-sample-summary-details.

Non-Toxics Neighborhood Group Community Monitoring:  The Non-toxics Neighborhood group is working with advisors from the UC Irvine to install air pollution sensors in the community. Since December, South Coast AQMD has made multiple requests to review and discuss this group’s data and methodologies and have been denied by both the community and their university advisor. Our agency believes that all monitoring data should be evaluated in order to provide thorough and factual information to the community.

South Coast AQMD is aware of a recent article published by the Voice of O.C. that contains Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) data from air monitoring conducted by the Non-Toxics Neighborhood Group and evaluated by their advisors at UC Irvine. Based on the information in the article, the data has major limitations in terms of providing credible quantitative data that can be compared to state or federal health-based criteria. Their sampling program uses inappropriate technologies and highly uncertain methodologies to draw health conclusions. It is very concerning that the Non-Toxics Neighborhood group would create unnecessary distress amongst residents by hiding their data from our agency, and instead providing it to the media.


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