press release

Unocal to install high-tech monitoring system at Rodeo refinery

Rodeo, Calif., Nov. 4, 1996 -- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the final design of a high-tech fenceline monitoring system was reached today between Unocal, community residents and two environmental groups. The MOU clears the way for the installation of additional high-tech monitoring equipment on the refinery fenceline. "This is an important milestone. With this agreement in hand we are able to move forward toward the installation of the final system," said Jeff Wilkes, Refinery General Manager. The final design will be submitted to the Contra Costa County Planning Commission for their approval later this month.

The refinery is currently operating an interim fenceline monitoring system based on a test program which began in August of last year. The final system will incorporate the interim system, called FTIR, and two additional optical remote sensing technologies: ultraviolet and laser. "The completed system will be unlike anything in use at any other industrial site that we're aware of," Wilkes offered. Though some aspects of the final system are experimental, Unocal is committed to making the system work.

The combination of the three technologies will generate enormous amounts of data. That data will be shared with Contra Costa County, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Unocal Community Advisory Panel and the Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) signatories.

Throughout the development of the final system design there has been substantial opportunity for community input including public meetings in both Rodeo and Crockett. An intensive effort over the last two months between Unocal, the GNA signatories and the members of the GNA fenceline monitoring working group, resulted in today's MOU.

Updated: October 1996