What Lowenthal Petroleum Coke Dust Bill Does & Doesn't Do
Read Actual Bill Passed & Signed by the Governor
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
(Updated: September 22, 2000) Below we provide the full text of AB 1775 by LB Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal on petroleum coke dust, passed by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Davis.
In essence, the Lowenthal bill does the following:
- Hastens a general deadline (with two exceptions below) by roughly five and a half months (from June 11, 2001 to January 1, 2001) for operators at the Ports of LB or LA that store, handle or transport petroleum coke to comply with coke enclosure requirements set last year by the AQMD (our local Air Quality Management District).
- Grants exceptions to its January 1, 2001 deadline to operators at the Ports of LB and LA:
- Gives the operator at the Port of LB until January 1, 2004 to discontinue or replace an old ship loader; the AQMD permitted use of the ship loader but only on certain terms. An AQMD staff report describes the ship loader and the reasons for its restrictions; we quote from the AQMD report below.
- Gives the operator at the Port of LA until January 1, 2002 to cover a so-called "ready" coke pile unless it commences construction of additional enclosed storage on or before April 1, 2001, in which case the compliance deadline becomes April 1, 2002;
- Makes violation of the bill's terms a crime;
- Requires the AQMD to annually submit a study to the Legislature that examines the violations of AQMD rules on coke pollution;
- Requires the SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District) to monitor the size of the outdoor ready pile at the Port of Los Angeles to ensure compliance with a specified 50,000 metric ton limit until that pile is enclosed;
- Requires the SCAQMD, by January 1, 2003 to maintain a program to monitor particulates within the Ports of LB and LA and assess prevalent coke particulates and improvements in air quality.
Below is the Lowenthal bill text, followed by a portion of the AQMD report describing the Port of LB ship loader.
BILL NUMBER: AB 1775 ENROLLED
CHAPTERED BILL TEXT CHAPTER 500
FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
APPROVED BY GOVERNOR SEPTEMBER 17, 2000
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 24, 2000
PASSED THE SENATE AUGUST 23, 2000
AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 18, 2000
AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 8, 2000
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 28, 2000
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 26, 2000
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 1, 2000
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Lowenthal
JANUARY 24, 2000
An act to add Section 40459 to the Health and Safety Code,
relating to air pollution.
AB 1775, Lowenthal. Petroleum coke dust.
(1) Existing law requires the State Air Resources Board to monitor
air pollutants in cooperation with the county air pollution
districts, the air quality management districts, and other agencies
in order to control air pollution.
This bill would require the operator of any facility within the
Port of Los Angeles or the Port of Long Beach to comply with certain
requirements regarding the management of petroleum coke, as provided
in specified rules of the South Coast Air Quality Management District
by January 1, 2001, except as specified. The bill would require the
facility operators at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long
Beach to also enclose or replace specified equipment by January 1,
2002, and January 1, 2004, respectively. Because a violation of
those rules and requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose
a state-mandated local program.
The bill would require the district, in conjunction with the state
board, to annually submit a study to the Legislature that examines
the violations of the district's rules regarding petroleum coke.
The bill would require the south coast district to monitor the
size of the outdoor ready pile at the Port of Los Angeles to ensure
compliance with a specified 50,000 metric ton limit, until that pile
The south coast district would be required, by January 1, 2003, to
maintain a program to monitor particulates within the Port of Los
Angeles and the Port of Long Beach and to assess prevalent coke
particulates and improvements in air quality.
The bill would impose a state-mandated local program by imposing
new duties upon a local air district.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for specified reasons.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(a) California law provides for the measurement of the level of
carcinogens in the air and water and requires that notice be given to
the public regarding the level of various toxic pollutants in the
(b) Petroleum coke is material produced in the oil-refining
process that is exported widely to Asia as an alternative energy
(c) The purpose of this act is to reduce the emission of airborne
particulate matter from the storage, handling, and transportation of
SEC. 2. Section 40459 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to
40459. (a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (4), on or before
January 1, 2001, the operator of any facility within either the Port
of Los Angeles or the Port of Long Beach that stores, handles, or
transports petroleum coke and is subject to the enclosed storage pile
deadlines of Rule 1158 shall comply with the enclosure requirement
of Rule 1158.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (4), on or before January 1,
2002, the facility operator at the Port of Los Angeles shall enclose
the ready pile referenced in subparagraph (k)(10) of Rule 1158.
(3) On or before January 1, 2004, the facility operator at the
Port of Long Beach shall discontinue the use of, or replace the
shiploader referenced in subparagraph (k)(6) of Rule 1158.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), if the construction of
additional enclosed storage within the Port of Los Angeles is
commenced on or before April 1, 2001, the facility operator is not
required to comply with subparagraph (k)(10) of Rule 1158 until April
For purposes of this paragraph, "construction of additional
enclosed storage" means any storage enclosure for which the south
coast district issues a permit to construct on or after January 1,
2001, but before April 1, 2001, and construction begins on or before
April 1, 2001.
(b) The south coast district, in conjunction with the state board,
shall annually submit a study to the Legislature that examines the
frequency and severity of violations of south coast district rules
related to the storage, transportation, and handling of petroleum
(c) Until the facility operator at the Port of Los Angeles
encloses the outdoor ready pile, as specified in paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a), the south coast district shall monitor the size of
that ready pile to ensure compliance with the 50,000 metric ton limit
requirement in that facility's March 31, 1999, Rule 1158 interim
(d) On and after January 1, 2003, the south coast district shall
maintain a program to monitor particulates within the Port of Los
Angeles and the Port of Long Beach and shall assess prevalent coke
particulates and improvements in air quality.
(e) For purposes of this section, "Rule 1158" means the rule
adopted by the south coast district on December 2, 1983, and amended
June 11, 1999, pursuant to this chapter. Any terms used in this
section and in Rule 1158 shall have the same meaning as provided in
SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution for certain
costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
because in that regard this act creates a new crime or infraction,
eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government
Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of
Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution.
In addition, no reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution because a
local agency or school district has the authority to levy service
charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or
level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section
17556 of the Government Code.
A 1999 AQMD staff report on coke dust discussed the Port of LB's old ship loader, first describing what telescoping loading shoots are supposed to do, then describing some shortcomings at the Port of LB:
"Telescoping loading chutes to load the material on ships, are necessary to reduce emissions, as the material falls from a significant height. The chute captures the dust and prevents it from becoming airborne. The closer the chute comes to the pile in the ship’s hold the less the emission potential, but there is always some free fall of material which can cause ambient emissions from wind. A telescoping loading chute will drop the wind speed to zero or a minimal speed within the chute thereby reducing emissions. As such, PAR 1158 will require telescoping loading chutes with water suppression to reduce emissions.
"Shiploader #1 at the Port of Long Beach was reportedly built in 1962 and although it has a telescoping chute, it can not reach the far side of newer, wider Panamax ships, due to interference with a nearby storage barn. An exemption until 2004 has been given to allow retrofitting of this older out-of-date shiploader.
"Neither shiploader #1 or #2 at the Port of Long Beach is capable of reaching with a telescoping chute, the far side of a cope-sized ship (i.e. a ship too wide to go through the Panama Canal). The docking of cope-sized ships in the Port of Long Beach to load coal is infrequent, ranging from 0 - 6 times per year over the last several years. An exemption has been allowed to load coal into cape-sized ships. The one-half Ringelmann standard will still apply to loading without telescoping chutes."
Source: AQMD Staff Report for: Proposed Amended Rule 1158 - STORAGE, HANDLING AND TRANSPORT OF COKE, COAL AND SULFUR, June 11, 1999, Chapter 3, p. 14.
The AQMD adopted an exemption allowing the Port of LB's ship loader to be used until June 11, 2004 only if all of the following conditions are met:
"(A) The operator has installed and operates an instantaneous wind speed monitoring and recording system that is synchronized with the time of day and shall maintain a log of the date and time of each use of the headbox by-pass;
(B) The instantaneous wind speed measured at the shiploader is less than 10 miles per hour;
(C) The shiploader shuttle boom is not long enough to allow discharge through the telescoping spout to reach the far side of that ship’s hatch without using the headbox by-pass;
(D) The facility operator notifies the AQMD 48 hours before shiploading is scheduled to commence; and,
(E) The shiploader was initially constructed before 1970."
Source: AQMD Rule 1158, Exemption (k)(6)
Governor Davis has signed AB 1775 into law.