LOS ANGELES--California air quality officials approved new plans Jan. 24-25
to bring San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles area into compliance with
federal 24-hour standard for fine particulates (PM-2.5).
At a Jan. 24 meeting in Bakersfield, Calif., the California Air Resources
Board signed off on a strategy it said demonstrates attainment with 35
micrograms per cubic meter standard throughout the entire eight-county San
Joaquin Valley air basin by the end of 2019.
The next day in Diamond Bar, Calif., CARB approved a plan the South Coast Air
Quality Management District adopted Dec. 7 to bring the Los Angeles area it
oversees into attainment with the PM-2.5 standard by 2014 (236 DEN A-14,
The plan also updates the SCAQMD's strategy to attain federal standards for
CARB's adoption of both plans clears the way for the state implementation
plan revisions to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency for
Both plans were due at EPA on Dec. 15.
Adopted by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District Dec.
30, the valley strategy predicts that most of the air basin will be in
attainment with the 24-hour PM-2.5 standard by 2017. The last remaining
nonattainment site, Bakersfield, will not achieve the standard until 2019, five
years beyond the federal attainment deadline of 2014.
As a result, the air district must seek an extended deadline from EPA.
To meet the 2017 deadline, the SJVUAPCD plan relies primarily on existing
district and statewide regulations to curb directly emitted PM-2.5 and emissions
of nitrogen oxides. District regulations target emissions from industrial
boilers and furnaces, flaring operations, open burning, prescribed burning,
confined animal facilities, lawn care equipment, and asphalt and concrete
operations. The statewide regulations aim to curb emissions from diesel on- and
off-road vehicles and equipment, passenger cars, and other sources that
contribute to the valley's PM-2.5 pollution problem.
To meet the 2019 deadline, the air district is proposing to strengthen
existing rules regulating residential wood burning in fireplaces and stoves and
control emissions from commercial cooking, specifically from charbroiling
Nitrogen oxide emissions, which contribute to the formation of fine
particulates, would have to be reduced by 55 percent and directly emitted PM-2.5
must decrease by 30 percent, according to the plan.
Neither CARB nor the SJVUAPCD estimated the costs of implementing the
valley's PM-2.5 plan.
SJVUAPCD's Samir Sheikh told BNA Jan. 23 that the agency conducts cost
effectiveness analysis as part of each rulemaking process, but it does not
prepare economic analyses when developing its clean air plans.
The PM-2.5 plan indicated that implementation of the strategy would result in
a $102 million saving on health costs in 2019.
SCAQMD's air quality management plan updates the agency's eight-hour ozone
strategy and seeks to satisfy deficiencies EPA identified in a 2003 one-hour
ozone plan as well as demonstrate attainment with the 2006 PM-2.5 standard.
Like the valley's plan, the SCAQMD PM-2.5 plan also proposes strengthening
local rules for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces and relies on its existing
measures covering stationary sources and statewide regulations governing mobile
sources. Also, the SCAQMD plan calls for stricter rules for open-burnings and
for diesel emissions in high traffic areas, specifically idling
The agency decided to wait on measures to control particulate emissions at
local dairies and restaurant charbroilers, pending further study.
SCAQMD's plan also includes a new round of measures to further reduce
emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds to demonstrate its
commitment to achieve the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard of 0.08 parts per
million (ppm) and the now-revoked one-hour ozone standard of 0.12 ppm.
In addition, the plan includes new emissions data and measures to offset
anticipated increases in vehicle traffic, which were required after EPA Sept. 19
disapproved an earlier submittal (182 DEN A-10, 9/20/12).
SCAQMD included commitments to adopt and implement a small number of advanced
technology measures included in the 2007 SIP revision that demonstrate
attainment with 1997 eight-hour standard by 2023. The plan projects attainment
with the one-hour standard by 2022.
SCAQMD estimated the average annual cost of implementing the 2012 plan at
$448 million. The cost of the PM-2.5 is estimated at $326.6 million, which
includes $326.4 million for transportation control measures proposed by Southern
California Association of Governments. Implementation of all the ozone measures
is expected to cost $122 million a year, including $40 million in costs for
stationary source controls, according to the plan.
Bringing the region into attainment with the 24-hour PM-2.5 standard and
progressing toward the ozone standards will result in “an average annual clean
air benefit of $3.5 billion,’’ which includes about $519 million for congestion
relief, $2.2 billion in reduced premature deaths and averted illnesses, $696
million for visibility improvements, and $14 million in reduced damage to
materials, the agency estimated.
SCAQMD oversees air quality in Orange County, and major areas of Los Angeles,
Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
By Carolyn Whetzel
The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District's adopted 2012
PM-2.5 plan is available at http://www.valleyair.org/Air_Quality_Plans/PM25Plans2012.htm.
South Coast Air Quality Management District's final 2012 Air Quality
Management Plan is available at http://www.aqmd.gov/aqmp/Lead_SIP/homepage.htm.