Santa Barbara County Air Quality News May/June 1997
Index of Topics in Past Issues
On the Air is a bimonthly newsletter published by the Planning and Community Assistance Section of the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District. For more information on items in this newsletter, or to be added to our print subscription list, contact Bobbie Bratz, [email protected] or (805) 961-8890.
In April, the APCD released its proposed budget for fiscal year 1997/98, which runs from July 1, 1997, to June 30, 1998. The budget reflects a continuing trend of declining revenue and, as a result, reductions in APCD staff. The budget was presented to the APCD Board in May and will be considered for adoption at the June 19 Board meeting.
The budget is available for public review and was presented at three public workshops in May. Also available for public review are the APCD Program Summary, and the Strategic Plan. The Program Summary describes each of the divisions and sections of the APCD and summarizes their prior year accomplishments and current year objectives. The Strategic Plan presents a vision of the APCD for the future and projects our resource needs for the next five years.
Over half of the APCD?s budget is funded through fees on the businesses that cause air pollution. Fees collected over the last several years have declined sharply. Some of the reductions reflect a reduced workload and, therefore, staff reductions are appropriate. This is the case for permit and inspection fees.
Other fees, however, have declined with no reduction in the associated workload. For example, emission based fees are charged to pollution sources based on the amount of pollution they generate each year. These fees fund general programs such as planning, air monitoring, business assistance, and general permit and inspection activities that are not tied to a specific facility.
Revenue from emission based fees has gone down due to several factors, including implementation of APCD rules to reduce emissions, changes to the definition of regulated pollutants, and an automatic annual reduction of impact fees paid by large pollution sources.
The figure above shows the $1.5 million decline in permit and emission based fees since fiscal year 1991/92. This decline necessitates a number of program changes and substantial staff cuts.
The figures above show the proposed budget revenue and expenditures. This budget, as presented to the public and the APCD Board in May, includes the deletion 10.25 staff positions. Several members of the public, environmental groups, and regulated businesses commented on the proposed budget at the workshops and hearing in May. A summary of these comments and our responses are available in the staff report for the June 19 hearing.
At the budget adoption hearing we will recommend that the Board adopt an alternative budget that preserves four key staff positions currently slated for deletion. These four positions, which we believe are critical to achieving our goals, are: two rule development engineers, one systems analyst, and one accounts specialist.
We propose to fund these four positions by reallocating some Innovative Technologies Program funds ($60,000) and motor vehicle registration surcharge funds ($186,000) from outside projects to APCD programs.
In addition to the proposed staff cuts, we will be close the Buellton office. North County inspectors will work directly from their homes, with electronic access to the main office. Meetings with the public, industry, and other agencies will occur at various meeting rooms in Buellton, Lompoc, and Santa Maria, Solvang, and Guadalupe. This measure will save about $60,000 the first year and will allow for efficiencies and improved service. No reductions in inspection services are proposed.
The budget adoption hearing will be held at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, June 19, at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, and will be broadcast live in south county on Government Access Channel 20.
At their April meeting, the APCD Board revised the Permits and New Source Review Regulations (Regs. II and VIII). The purpose of the revision is to comply with statutory requirements and to streamline the permit process without compromising air quality.
Many of the adopted changes are administrative in nature. Regulation II covers basic permitting requirements and Regulation VIII contains Requirements for New Source Review.
Major changes are described in the January/February 1997 Business Focus. They include the following: combined permits, changes to exemptions, permit streamlining, changes to the triggers for best available control technology, and new requirements for emission offsets, including a ?banking system. Many thanks to the Community Advisory Council and others who worked hard on these rule revisions. or copy of the revised rules, contact Bette Easton, 805-961-8898.
The APCD is building voluntary, pollution reducing partnerships with the local agricultural community. Agricultural operations, exempt from APCD permit requirements, use fuel burning equipment for a variety of uses, including warming greenhouses and pumping rrigation water. This equipment emits pollutants that contribute to the formation of ozone air pollution.
The APCD met with the Santa Barbara Farm Bureau, the Growers, Shippers, Vegetable Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, and local farmers to develop a program that would benefit the agricultural community while improving air quality.
Using funds provided by oil companies through the Subsea Well Abandonment Rig Sharing mitigation program, the APCD is offering to help local growers purchase new fuel efficient, low-polluting water pump engines and greenhouse warming burners. Equipment manufacturers and utility companies may also contribute funding. The APCD has requested additional funds from the State?s Petroleum Violation Escrow Account.
For information on the Agricultural Boiler Initiative to replace greenhouse burners, call Jeff Carmody, 961-8884. or information on the Water Pump Repower Program, call Eric Peterson, 961-8824.
A regional effort is under way to study the formation and distribution of ozone. The Southern California Ozone Study 1997, or SCOS97, is the most comprehensive study of southern California air quality and meteorology ever attempted. Local air districts, including the Santa Barbara County APCD, will team up with the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Navy, and the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone.
The goals of the study are: 1) to update and improve the existing aerometric and emissions databases used for modeling urban- scale ozone episodes in southern California, and 2) to quantify the impact of emissions generated in each southern California air basin on federal and state ozone exceedances in other neighboring air basins.
The study is scheduled to begin in June when meteorological conditions are ripe for ozone formation. The study?s modeling domain includes all or parts of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.
Emission, air quality, and meteorological data will be captured during seven two- or three-day ozone episodes. Advanced technology, including radar wind profilers, radio acoustic sounding systems, and aircraft sampling, will be used to measure ozone in three-dimensional profiles throughout the southern California area.
Parallel with the field study, local air districts and the Air Resources Board will be engaged in an intensive effort to gather hourly emissions data for all major sources. To this end, the Air Resources Board is compiling day-specific traffic counts for major highways and arterials in southern California, and will attempt to inventory traffic emissions from northern Mexico.
The last study of this type conducted in our area was the South Central Coast Cooperative Aerometric Monitoring Program (SCCCAMP) in 1984 and 1985. The last study conducted in the Los Angeles area was in 1987. The results from this study will be used in air quality plans for at least the next decade.
By participating in this new study we will receive current meteorological and air quality information related to air pollution episodes in Santa Barbara County for future planning activities. The regional nature of the study will help us address air quality impacts of pollution transported both into and out of our area.
For more information, call Tom Murphy, 805-961-8857.
Green Award nominations are due June 20, 1997.
The purpose of the Green Award is to recognize voluntary private sector activities, big or small, in Santa Barbara County that result in cleaner air or water, less waste, less traffic, conservation of energy and natural resources, or reduced use of hazardous materials. The Green Award honors those who demonstrate exceptional commitment or innovation. Feel free to nominate your own company.
Awards are presented at a special luncheon during Pollution Prevention Week in September. For information or a nomination form, please call our Business Assistance Line, 805-961-8868.
|ATC Applications Received||14||13|
|ATC Permits Issued||3||7|
|PTO Applications Received||20||11|
|PTO Permits Issued||6||15|
|Notices of Violation Issued||15||20|
|Administrative Infractions Documented (subset of above)||1||0|