Pollution and odors from the Phillips refinery have been a recurring problem to the residents of Trilogy.  As anybody driving by the refinery along US 1 has noted; the refinery is large and complex, which means there are myriad ways that fumes, pollutants, and vapors from petroleum products can be released into the air and blown into nearby communities.

While we may not be expert in the processes at the refinery, the odors can be described as: “gas oil”, “crude oil” “diesel”, “oily rags, or “rotten eggs.   Sulfur-like fumes commonly emanate from the refinery and have a fairly strong and distinctive odor. Often the smells may be over-whelming, especially in the evening as prevailing winds blow across from the refinery.

When you smell unusual and unpleasant odors, you should immediately call the refinery at: 805-343-1776.

Information about the odor will be taken, as well as your name, phone number, and address if you want to provide that information. If you are familiar with refinery odors, and think you are smelling such odors, state that in the call
If you smell something, say something; immediately, so that quick action can be taken.

Tell the folks that there are odors emanating from the plant and ask for the shift supervisor.  Within minutes you will receive a returned call.  If asked, they will swing by to test the air with hand held monitor.  Often the smells are transient and by the time they arrive, the odor may have dissipated.  But it’s important to document the incident.
Phillips wants to be a “good neighbor” and their employees are always professional and respectful. They are aware of the opposition to the Rail Terminal Project; but this not the time to “pick that wound”.  

If they do not receive calls, they assume they are doing a good job controlling odors. So it’s important that you call.
Unfortunately there is no fence line monitoring at the P66 Refinery. New regulations from the EPA stipulate that such monitoring will be required; but oil industry lobbyists are fighting this requirement.   

So…if you Smell Something, Say Something!

When you smell odors, call the refinery directly at: 805 343 1776.  In addition, document your complaint by writing to complaint@slocleanair.org


Refinery Odors & What You Can Do: Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery