Enhanced notification system alerts LA County residents near refineries of flare-ups, emergencies

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (KABC) -- Residents across Los Angeles County who live near an oil refinery or hydrogen plant now have a way to monitor potentially harmful flare-ups.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has introduced an enhanced version of its Flare Event Notification System (FENS) to notify residents like Thea Desousa, who lives in El Segundo near the Chevron refinery.

At times, Desousa says, its proximity can cause concern when they see flames or smoke coming from the refinery.

"Obviously, you look up at the sky and you see something on fire, it's concerning," she said. "And then we always all get online and ask each other what it is, and then somebody eventually who works there, who is informed, will tell us but it takes a few minutes for all that information to get out, so it would be better to have it quicker."

The interactive online map allows is designed to do just that. Residents will be able to monitor flaring operations at 12 petroleum refineries and related industries, their location, and whether there is active flaring.

"The new system helps the public understand when they can expect a planned flaring event and know instantly whenever an unplanned flaring event occurs," said Executive Officer Wayne Nastri in a press release.

FENS will list flaring event notifications in real-time.
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