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All American Asphalt

Recent & Upcoming Activity


Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - Community Meeting 


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Announcements

Violation Issued to All American Asphalt in Irvine for Causing a Public Nuisance - Press Release - January 14, 2022: 


South Coast AQMD Response to the City of Irvine:

  • Letter to Dr. Burke from Irvine City Council - November 17, 2020:  English (PDF)  Mandarin (PDF)

  • South Coast AQMD Staff Response to Irvine City Council Letter - November 24, 2020:   English (PDF)  Mandarin (PDF)


Background

South Coast AQMD has an ongoing investigation concerning All American Asphalt's (AAA) hot mix asphalt batch plant. The facility is located in the City of Irvine. South Coast AQMD’s investigation seeks to address numerous complaints lodged by local residents, who have identified asphalt and burnt rubber-type odors from the facility. There was a noticeable increase in complaints starting in September 2019. Since then, South Coast AQMD has received more than 1,400 complaints alleging AAA as the source of odors. South Coast AQMD’s enforcement team took action, including on-site inspections and extensive field operations; and inspectors have continued to attempt to respond to every single public complaint.

As a result of our efforts, AAA has taken steps to alleviate the impact of odors on the surrounding community, such as making repairs to certain equipment, increasing the use of odorant in the facility’s processes, rerouting trucks carrying asphalt away from residential neighborhoods and requiring those trucks to utilize tarps. South Coast AQMD approved  air quality permits for the crumb rubber system/asphalt blending system and the associated asphalt oil heater, electrostatic precipitators, and the carbon adsorption air pollution control equipment, as a proposed long-term solution to the problem. This equipment is designed to decrease odors from the facility. None of these permit applications submitted by AAA seek to increase the facility’s overall asphalt production and/or throughput. Please note that questions concerning CEQA analysis conducted by any land use agency when residential properties are proposed to be constructed should be directed to the land use agency.


Compliance

Following an on-site inspection of the facility in October 2019, South Coast AQMD issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) due to violations of permit requirements. Additionally, inspectors responded to complaints and conducted investigations that resulted in eight NOVs issued to AAA for public nuisance, in violation of agency Rule 402 and California Health & Safety Code Section 41700, with the most recent NOV issued on January 26, 2022. During this time period, the facility has not been found to have exceeded any throughput or emission limits, nor has any subsequent facility inspection identified violations of any permit conditions.


Odors and Complaints

During odor nuisance investigations, inspectors meet with complainants to verify the odor experienced by the complainant. It is not a matter of the human nose being more reliable, but rather having an independent person confirm the odor and therefore the complaint. This confirmation is legally required to pursue a public nuisance action. It is a separate process from collecting scientific data, which South Coast AQMD has done as part of our Air Monitoring Initiative.

South Coast AQMD takes community concerns seriously and has been actively addressing taking action to address emissions from this facility.


Facility Expansion

Based on South Coast AQMD’s information, AAA has not expanded operations since 2016. This facility produces asphaltic concrete and has active permits for existing equipment with South Coast AQMD, which currently limit monthly production and contain conditions to ensure they operate within air quality rules and requirements. South Coast AQMD establishes and enforces regulations that require facilities to meet certain conditions and/or emission limits. The specific requirements are consistent with our authorities and mandates under state law, as well as our overall mission to protect the public from the harmful effects of air pollution.

This investigation is a top priority for South Coast AQMD. South Coast AQMD has met multiple times with local community members, improved communication with non-English-speaking residents, and increased the presence of inspectors in the field. Members of the public who experience air quality issues such as those described above can call the South Coast AQMD complaint hotline at 1-800-CUT SMOG (1-800-288-7664) or to enter an online complaint via our website.


Prior Meetings & Activity

July 27, 2021 – Field Testing Evaluation of the Atmotube Pro Sensor

From March 31 through April 21, 2021, South Coast AQMD tested the performance of six Atmotube Pro sensors (the same type of sensors that were used by the Jun Wu Research Group in Irvine) to see if they accurately respond to total volatile organic compounds (VOC) and accurately measure the ambient concentration of total VOCs. The test was conducted at one of South Coast AQMD’s air monitoring sites in Wilmington, east of a petroleum refinery and west of a major freeway (I-110) – an ideal site for conducting air monitoring of VOCs.

All Atmotube Pro sensors were run side-by-side with a more expensive and reliable “reference” instrument to assess performance. Testing results indicate that VOC concentrations measured by the Atmotube Pro sensors did not correlate with measurements recorded by the “reference” instrument. The sensors overestimated VOC concentrations and reported high levels of VOCs when concentrations were low, suggesting levels measured in the Irvine community were not accurate or precise, and were biased high. The testing results suggest the sensor devices should have been tested and calibrated prior to field deployment. A technical report summarizing South Coast AQMD’s field testing evaluation of the Atmotube Pro sensor can be found here.


March 3, 2021 - 
Virtual Community Meeting

  • Meeting Flyer:  English (PDF)  Mandarin (PDF)

  • Presentation (PDF): "All American Asphalt – Air Sampling Initiative" by Aaron Katzenstein, PhD, Laboratory Manager, South Coast AQMD Monitoring and Analysis Division

  • Presentation (PDF): "City of Irvine Ambient Air Sampling" by Greg Wolffe, Yorke Engineering

  • Presentation (PDF): "Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds in samples collected in the areas surrounding the All American Asphalt facility" by Barbara Barletta, Donald Blake Research Group, Chemistry Department, UCI

  • Presentation (PDF): Low-cost sensor-based PM2.5 and VOC monitoring result in Northwood and Orchard Hills neighborhoods near All American Asphalt, Amirhosein Mousavi, PhD, Jun Wu Research Group, UCI

  • Archived Meeting Video:


December 9, 2020 - Community Meeting


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