Meeting the Challenge of California’s Fenceline Monitoring Rules

Client/Industry Overview

PBF Energy owns and operates the Torrance Refinery in Torrance, CA. The refinery covers over 700 acres and is capable of processing 155,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The Torrance Refinery operates under the regulatory jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SC AQMD) and compiles with some of the nation’s strictest environmental regulations.


In 2017, the SC AQMD promulgated Rule 1180, which required all eight refineries in California’s South Coast Air Basin to conduct continuous, real-time fenceline monitoring for twenty different compounds. The Rule’s requirements were unique, massive in scope, and technically challenging to meet. For one, the Rule’s guidelines called for air monitoring to be conducted using optical remote sensing – also known as open-path monitoring – a complex, state-of-the-art air measurement technology. Other rule requirements included:

  • Generating an approved fenceline monitoring plan
  • Presenting real-time monitoring data to the public via a website
  • Managing an opt-in notification system that automatically generates and issues notifications to subscribers when each of the pollutant levels exceeds corresponding thresholds
  • Developing a robust Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program to help provide confidence in the data collected


What led Torrance Refinery to Spectrum was our world-class open-path analyzers. Most of the target compounds on the Rule 1180 target compound list were able to be measured using Spectrum’s DetectUV™-DOAS-OP and WaveRunIR™-OP analyzers.

DetectUV™-DOAS-OP WaveRunIR™-OP
Benzene Hydrogen Cyanide
Toluene Formaldehyde
Ethylbenzene 1,3-Butadiene
M-Xylene Acetaldehyde
O-Xylene Acrolein
P-Xylene Styrene
Sulfur Dioxide Nitrogen Dioxide
Hydrogen Fluoride
Carbonyl Sulfide


Identifying Spectrum as the right air monitoring equipment provider was just the beginning.  Many other critical elements go into the successful design, development, and operation of a modern-day fenceline monitoring program like the one required by Rule 1180.  Torrance Refinery also needed to find a company that possessed a proven track record in developing air monitoring plans, as well as experience working with regulatory agencies. In addition, the Refinery desired its partner to possess: 

  • A database management and analytics platform that was specifically designed for air quality data, and one that had a robust QA/QC program to match
  • Specialization in optical remote sensing technology
  • Ability to integrate and operate other types of air monitoring instruments  
  • Experience presenting air monitoring data to the public
  • Seasoned project managers who knew how to tie it all together and meet their project’s objectives – on schedule and under budget.  

Some companies checked a few of these boxes, but in the end, Spectrum Environmental Solutions was able to do it all.  Our team was able to provide them with the comprehensive, turnkey air monitoring solution they were looking for.  

Services and Products Utilized