2014 AIR QUALITY SUMMARY

This annual report provides information on the air quality in Santa Barbara County for 2014.

In 2014, Santa Barbara County met the federal standards for all measured pollutants except for the 8-hour ozone standard and the 1-hour sulfur dioxide standard. The 8-hour ozone standard of 0.075 ppm (75 ppb) was exceeded on 4 days and the 1-hour sulfur dioxide standard was exceeded on 1 day.

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 10 days. The California state PM10 standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded on 23 days.

The California state arithmetic mean PM10 standard of 20 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded at 5 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 six 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 Federal and California standards applicable in 2014.

Figure 1 shows the locations of all monitoring stations in Santa Barbara County operating in 2014.

Air Quality Monitoring Station Status for 2014

In 2014, 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 2014 and the pollutants and parameters measured at each station.

Criteria Pollutant Summary

The pollutant data collected in Santa Barbara County during 2014 has been summarized and can be downloaded here (PDF file): Santa Barbara County 2014 Pollutant Summary. This summary contains tables of the following data:

  • The four highest 1-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2014.
  • The four highest 8-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2014.
  • The four highest 1-hour concentrations for NO2 for 2014.
  • The four highest 1-hour concentrations for SO2 for 2014.
  • The four highest 1-hour concentrations for CO for 2014.

Particulate Matter monitoring

Seven stations collected PM10 data in 2014. The seven stations used a PM10 Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) sampler running 24 hours a day and calculating real time hourly values for ambient PM concentrations. Four stations collected PM2.5 data using a PM2.5 BAM, collecting continuous hourly data throughout the year.

The particulate data collected in Santa Barbara County during 2014 has been summarized and can be downloaded here (PDF file): Santa Barbara County 2014 Particulate Summary. This summary contains tables of the data listed below.

  • The two highest 24-hour PM10 (Local Temperature and Pressure) concentrations measured during 2014 and the annual 24- hour average.
  • The two highest 24-hour PM10 (Standard Temperature and Pressure) concentrations measured during 2014 and the annual 24-hour average.
  • The two highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations measured during 2014 and the annual 24- hour average.

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

This includes:

  • PM10 for continuous sampling to State standards
  • PM10 for continuous sampling to Federal standards
  • PM2.5 for continuous sampling to State and Federal standards using a FEM (Federal Equivalent Method)
  • PM2.5 for continuous sampling to State and Federal standards using a non-FEM method

There were no stations in 2014 with measurements over the federal 24-hour standard of 150 µg/m3. There were 5 stations that measured a particulate level over the state 24-hour California standard of 50 µg/m3 during the year. The highest value for 2014 (98 µg/m3) was recorded at the El Capitan station. There were also 5 stations that measured a particulate level over the California state annual arithmetic mean standard of 20 µg/m3 for the year. The highest annual arithmetic mean was at the Santa Maria station with a value of 26 µg/m3.

New in 2014

EPA changes to the NAAQS:

On November 25, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new eight-hour standard in the range of 65-70 ppb for ground-level ozone. The EPA will issue a final decision by October 1, 2015.

On October 1, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new eight-hour standard of 70 ppb for ground-level ozone, one of the principal components of smog. Read more about the new standard.

Monitoring station changes in 2014:

The Goleta PM 2.5 monitor was equipped with the correct firmware, accessories, and operational settings to qualify as a Federal Equivalent Method (FEM) for PM 2.5 on January 1, 2014.