Cat Cracker Rule 6-5

The Cat Cracker Rule 6-5 has been approved by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District! Read our press release on the (7/21/21) historic vote! “This is a huge win for environmental justice communities who have been fighting for this rule for years as a matter of racial, environmental, and climate justice. Despite a widespread misinformation campaign by the refineries and their allies of exaggerated costs that threatened our communities with doomsday scenarios, the Board of Directors made an historic vote today on behalf of disproportionately impacted communities,” Andres Soto, Richmond Community Organizer for Communities For A Better Environment.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) finalized a rule that will reduce pollution from Chevron and PBF (formerly Shell) oil refineries in Richmond and Martinez, California — some of the largest refineries in the world. Regulation 6 Rule 5: Particulate Emissions from Refinery Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Units a.k.a. Cat Cracker Rule 6-5’s original vote was set to take place on June 2nd but was delayed due to the amazing turnout by community during public comment. The BAAQMD vote was rescheduled and passed on July 21st, 2021.

This decision by the Air District to adopt the “cat cracker rule” is a win-win policy for workers and the community. According to an analysis by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Inclusive Economics, this policy will result in significant economic benefits, including creating thousands of community supporting jobs, through the installation of new technology to cut the pollution that has been blatantly harming communities of color. 

Our researchers worked hard to develop fact sheets that can help you understand the different Economic Impacts, Air quality Improvements, and Myths v. Facts of the rule. Check them out:

Rule 6-5: A Commonsense Rule Requiring a Common Technology Fact Sheet “Both refineries ignore the fact that wet gas scrubbing is common, already in use at a majority of refineries across the country – including the majority of PBF’s own facilities across the country. And yet, PBF opposes the use of this technology for their Bay Area refinery, even though its use is standard for the company. Four of PBF’s Five Other Refineries Already Use Wet Scrubbers.”

Economic Benefits of Rule 6-5 Fact Sheet “The procurement and installation of wet gas scrubbers will yield thousands of engineering, construction, and other installation jobs, upwards of 4,600 jobs between the two refineries. While BAAQMD has not analyzed these job creation benefits (as they are not required under state law), these are regional, community supporting jobs that would be created through the passage of this proposed rule.”

Improving Air Quality for Environmental Justice Communities Fact Sheet “The more stringent rule would… advance environmental justice. People of color are unjustly and disproportionately exposed to these emissions. Latinx and Black people are exposed to FCCU PM2.5 at rates 1.4 and 2.6 times higher, respectively, compared to their proportion of the Bay Area population.”

Rule 6-5: Myths and Facts “Rule 6-5 will improve public health and save lives, particularly in environmental justice communities, while creating thousands of jobs. However, the refineries have been spreading misinformation about this rule in a last-ditch effort to confuse politicians, and ultimately pass a weaker, more dangerous rule at a deadly cost to residents’ lives. The refineries and oil industry have a history of deception, manipulating information only to protect their profits at all costs. To straighten out the record, here are some of the most egregious lies, twisted facts, and the truth about them.”

Cat Cracker Rule 6-5 media…

Community members in favor of Rule 6-5 gather for a group picture in front of BAAQMD's headquarters in San Francisco with several signs. One major banner reads, " protect community health, not corporate wealth"

CBE Press Releases on Cat Cracker Rule 6-5