Study of Neighborhood Air near Petroleum Sources
What is SNAPS?
SNAPS, or the Study of Neighborhood Air near Petroleum Sources, is designed to study air quality in communities near oil and gas extraction and related facilities. As part of SNAPS, we will place air monitoring trailers in selected communities for several months at a time to assess air quality.
Why is CARB doing this study?
The Aliso Canyon natural gas leak highlighted the potential impacts of aging oil and gas infrastructure. In response to community concerns and scientific recommendations, CARB initiated SNAPS.
Why should I care about SNAPS?
Limited information exists on the impacts oil and gas operations may have on air quality in nearby communities. Using SNAPS, CARB hopes to learn more about potential impacts of criteria pollutants and toxic air contaminants in neighborhoods near oil and gas activities. Short and long-term exposure to these pollutants may contribute to health outcomes such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, and in some cases, cancer. By telling us your experiences and where you think monitoring trailers should be placed, you can better inform this study. We want to hear from you.
How does SNAPS inform additional community monitoring efforts?
SNAPS focuses on toxic air contaminants in neighborhoods near oil and gas extraction and related facilities, but may inform other monitoring efforts. For example, SNAPS may complement inventory efforts and the placement of community monitoring networks required under AB 617.
Which communities have been selected for the first round of monitoring?
Four communities have been selected for the first round. The selected communities include Lost Hills, McKittrick and Derby Acres, Baldwin Hills, and South Los Angeles. Additional communities will be selected for monitoring as the study progresses.
How long will monitoring occur in each community?
Monitoring is anticipated to last about 3-4 months in each community. Monitoring duration could be adjusted based on early monitoring results from the community, or lessons learned from monitoring in previous communities.
What opportunities exist for engaging with CARB?
Meetings will be held in each selected community to allow CARB to exchange information and suggestions with local community members and other stakeholders. These meetings will occur throughout the process, including at least one before monitoring equipment is deployed and one following release of the final report. Meetings will be announced on the SNAPS website and through active community groups.
How are results reported?
During each monitoring campaign, smog-forming criteria pollutants will be reported in real-time and linked to the SNAPS website. Other air pollutants, such as toxic air contaminants and metals, will be presented in a final report for each community. Data will be put into context in the final report, including information on source attribution and comparison to approved risk assessment health values. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment may prepare a health risk assessment as warranted by the monitoring results.
How are communities selected?
CARB selects communities based on criteria that include public concerns and suggestions, air monitoring data, proximity and density of oil and gas operations to a neighborhood, and input from local air quality agencies. The process starts with identification of candidate communities. Those communities are then screened on the metrics identified above, and communities with a high screening score are placed onto a short list. Finally, detailed analyses are performed on the short list communities to select those for monitoring in each round of the study. This process is ongoing and new communities will be identified, screened, and selected as the study progresses.
How does CARB determine the source of measured pollutants?
CARB has the capability to use various source attribution techniques. The results of source attribution are important for informing, developing, and implementing strategies to reduce emission impacts from specific sources contributing to a community’s air quality burden. CARB’s recommended source attribution techniques include community inventory ratios, community-specific air quality modeling, targeted air monitoring, and other scientifically robust techniques.
What does CARB plan to do with the data?
CARB will examine the data and notify the proper authorities and operators immediately if pollutant levels indicate concern. In cases where concern is indicated, CARB will also discuss with the community the real-time data as soon as pollutant levels of concern are recorded. In addition, community members can express their concerns and ask questions through the SNAPS community phone lines. CARB will work with OEHHA to evaluate the collected data to determine if there is a concern with respect to health outcomes. The data also may be used to inform efforts to examine setbacks or other policy questions related to oil and gas.