2012 AIR QUALITY SUMMARY

This annual report provides information on the air quality in Santa Barbara County for 2012.

In 2012, Santa Barbara County met the federal standards for all measured pollutants except for the 8-hour ozone standard. The 8-hour ozone standard of 0.075 ppm (75 ppb) was exceeded on 2 days.

Santa Barbara County also met the California state standards for all pollutants except for the 8-hour ozone standard, the 24-hour particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10), and the annual arithmetic mean for particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10).

The state 8-hour ozone standard of 0.070 ppm (70 ppb) was exceeded on 5 days. The state PM10 standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded on 12 days.

The California state arithmetic mean PM10 standard of 20 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded at 3 of the 7 stations collecting PM10 data.

Detailed information about the ozone and particulate matter exceedances in Santa Barbara County can be found at: Summary of Days Exceeding Standards.

National and State Ambient Air Quality Standards

The Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) (Title 1, Section 109) requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prescribe national primary ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for certain air pollutants where public health criteria (protecting sensitive populations such as asthmatics) have been established. These pollutant levels were chosen to protect the health of the most susceptible individuals in a population, including children, the elderly and those with chronic respiratory ailments. A secondary standard is also prescribed to protect human welfare (visibility, crop damage, building damage). These pollutants are known as criteria pollutants.

The EPA currently has NAAQS for seven criteria pollutants: ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead (Pb), and particulate matter including (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5).

In addition to the EPA standards, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has set air quality standards for the same criteria pollutants and four others: sulfates, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), vinyl chloride (chloroethene, C2H3Cl), and visibility reducing particles.

Table 1 lists the current Federal and California standards.

Figure 1 shows the locations of all monitoring stations in Santa Barbara County operating in 2012.

Air Quality Monitoring Station Status for 2012

In 2012, there were 18 monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County, of which eight were operated by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD.) The remaining stations were operated by the CARB, and private industry. Table 2 lists the monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County during 2012 and the pollutants and parameters measured at each station.

Criteria Pollutant Summary

The pollutant data collected in Santa Barbara County during 2012 has been summarized and can be downloaded here (PDF file): Santa Barbara County 2012 Pollutant Summary. This summary contains tables of the following data:

  • The four highest 1-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2012.
  • The four highest 8-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2012.
  • The four highest 1-hour concentrations for NO2 for 2012.
  • The four highest 1-hour concentrations for SO2 for 2012.
  • The four highest 1-hour concentrations for CO for 2012.

Particulate Matter monitoring

The district is currently going through a transition in the way we collect particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) information. Monitoring is moving from the collection of one sample over a 24 hour period every sixth day (one in six day collection) to a new generation of samplers that can collect and analyze the sample every hour on a continuous basis. The old method provides approximately 60 sample days each year. We can now collect hourly PM data 365 days each year, giving a better idea of our true air quality. This large increase in sampling time also increases the probability of recording air quality concentrations over state or federal standards.

Seven stations collected PM10 data in 2012. Three of the seven stations used a PM10 Hi Volume filter sampler running one day every six days, or 16% of the entire year. Four stations are using a Met One PM10 BAM, collecting continuous hourly data throughout the year. Four stations are using a Met One PM2.5 BAM, collecting continuous hourly data throughout the year.

The particulate data collected in Santa Barbara County during 2012 has been summarized and can be downloaded here (PDF file): Santa Barbara County 2012 Particulate Summary.

Table 3 provides a summary of particulate monitoring by type and location.

This includes:

  • PM10 information for 1 in 6 day sampling to Federal standards
  • PM10 information for 1 in 6 day sampling to State standards
  • PM10 information for continuous sampling to Federal standards
  • PM10 information for continuous sampling to State standards
  • PM2.5 information for continuous Federal Equivalent Method (FEM) sampling.
  • PM2.5 information for continuous non-reference sampling.

There were no stations in 2012 with measurements over the federal 24-hour standard of 150 µg/m3. There were 3 stations that measured a particulate level over the state 24-hour California standard of 50 µg/m3 during the year. The highest value for 2012 (72 µg/m3) was recorded at the Santa Maria station. There was also 3 stations that measured a particulate level over the California state annual arithmetic mean standard of 20 µg/m3 for the year. These stations include Lompoc H, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria.

New in 2012

EPA changes to the NAAQS:

No changes

Monitoring station changes in 2012:

No changes.