April 22, 1999

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District  today received an Earth Day Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 9 Office in San Francisco. “Today’s honorees have applied creativity, teamwork and leadership in addressing many of California’s most pressing and complex environmental problems,” said Felicia Marcus, Regional Administrator for Region 9, which covers California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and tribal lands.

Twenty-two California organizations and individuals were recognized for their 1998 efforts at the Region Office in a ceremony this morning. The District, the only winner in Santa Barbara County, was one of only five winners in the state in the local government category.

The District won the award for two 1998 projects of the agency’s Innovative Technologies Group program: the Clean Air Express Dual-Fuel Bus Project, which launched the nation’s first dual-fuel (compressed natural gas) low-emission commuter buses in Lompoc; and the Agricultural Booster Pump Initiative, which helped farmers replace high-polluting water pump engines with new engines that are 75 percent lower emitting. The award recognized the program for using “innovative approaches to achieve air pollution reductions in two areas — transportation and agriculture — in which the agency has no regulatory authority.”