Update 4 - First Air Sample Results from Upper Ojai / Thomas Fire burning oil seeps

Upper Ojai Air Sample Results

Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) has released the first air sample results taken in the Upper Ojai Area. 

Upon initial review here are CFROG's questions regarding the sampling and results. 

After reviewing the testing results, Dr. Steve Colomé, a member of the CFROG Advisory Board and an air emission expert said,

"The values nonetheless approach threshold values for one-day occupational exposures. While not immediately hazardous there are people in the upper valley who have already gone through a lot and had tremendous smoke and ash exposure. I would tell anyone near one of theses seeps to try not to be downwind of or near visible plumes or detectable odors---these compounds have a definite chemical or petroleum smell."
He went on to point out: 

No sampling protocol was stated. How were the specific seeps identified? Who went out to take the samples? How long ago were the samplers evacuated and readied for analysis? What lab or labs were used? Was there an effort to site downwind of the smoldering seep? What is the distances from source and what is the length of sampling time?

It is not clear from the photography whether the polished ( Summa polished ? ) canister but it is not clear whether it was set up for a short integrated sample of a quick fill (15 to 30 seconds) of the canister or longer.

Also, it does not appear that the oil-pool or seep being sampled was smoldering. Just up the shoulder of the roadside were several seeps that were clearly smoldering with enough heat still in the seep for the plumes to be rising. The sample should have been taken in the visible plume of a smoldering seep. Note. the person taking the sample does not seem to be wearing protective clothing that would be more typical for a potentially hazardous condition. 

. Memo_Air_Sampling_Seep_Fire_1.jpg


Photo of APCD taking air sample


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