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The Systems Safety and Reliability Review Committee (SSRRC)

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors originally established the SSRRC in 1986 to identify and require correction of possible design and operational hazards for oil and gas projects prior to construction and startup of the project and for project modifications. The goal of SSRRC review is to substantially reduce the risks of project-related hazards that may result in loss of life and injury and damage to property and the natural environment. This process occurs through the review and approval of project designs and plans. This review also serves to avoid possible conflicting departmental regulation or departmental overlap that may result in adverse safety implications.

As authorized by the County zoning ordinances, the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission may require that any project be redesigned as a condition of approval of its preliminary or final development plan as they deem necessary to protect persons and property and to preserve the general public welfare. Project redesign may be required to ensure consistency with general and coastal plans, County codes and state and other laws.

The SSRRC is delegated authority to review the technical design of facilities, as well as to review and approve the Safety, Inspection, Maintenance and Quality Assurance Program (SIMQAP) and its implementation (conduct safety audits, review facility changes, etc.). The SSRRC also performs a purely staff function of reviewing and commenting on projects being reviewed by Planning and Development, the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors or other County, state or federal agencies. Such review and comment is purely advisory to the official, department, commission, agency or board authorized to review and approve the project or plan.

The delegated functions of the SSRRC are typically found is the Systems Safety and Reliability Review Committee conditions or Risk Management Program conditions of the project Final Development Plan. These conditions primarily concern approval of systems designs and SIMQAPs.

In order to produce the maximum potential safety benefit with the least impact to project development, the technical design review commences at the earliest possible stage of project development, beginning as early as the application completeness review process.

A permit applicant's conceptual design of a facility is subject to a preliminary systems safety analysis in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review (EIR) process. Based on the EIR analysis and specified mitigation measures, oil and gas development projects may be approved by the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors with modifications to the original project design. Because final process and construction design may not be completed at the time of final discretionary project approval, the SSRRC is delegated the authority to undertake subsequent review of design and construction drawings for hazards identification, risk assessment and mitigation of design and operational hazards prior to project construction. The SSRRC may employ third-party technical review to complete these tasks.

If SSRRC design recommendations result in significant impacts not analyzed in the EIR process for original project approval, the project is referred to Planning and Development for further environmental review pursuant to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance (Article II), or the Inland Zoning Ordinance (Article III), and to other appropriate officials or agencies with jurisdiction over the project. If necessary, the project is returned to the appropriate decision-maker for consideration.

Click on Current Agenda link above for meeting time and place.



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