The Systems Safety and Reliability Review Committee
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
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
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.
The SSRRC meets regularly on the first Thursday of each month in
the Energy Division conference room and the meetings are open to
the public. Special meetings are also conducted and noticed.