APCD Receives Presidential Award

Santa Barbara County Air Quality News March/April 1996

Inside this Issue:

APCD Receives Presidential AwardWeb Pages RevisedPermit Process ImprovementsEPA Moves to Approve CA PlansRoadside Testing of Vehicle EmissionsBike to Work Day 1996Permit & Compliance Summary

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 Megan Miley at (805) 961-8833 or [email protected].

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APCD Receives Presidential Award

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) was honored to receive the 1996 Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. Air Pollution Control Officer Doug Allard accepted the award on behalf of the APCD in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 7. The Award recognizes the APCD?s Clean Fuels and Energy Program which promotes innovative government-industry partnerships to reduce air pollution and help the business community.

President Clinton created the Council on Sustainable Development in June 1993. The Council brings together 25 leaders from business, government, environmental, labor, tribal, and citizens? organizations. The President?s Council was charged with developing a national action strategy for sustainable development — a series of recommendations to help the United States foster a strong economy, protect its natural and cultural resource base, and create equal opportunity for all people to improve their quality of life. As part of its mission, the Council developed a program to recognize and honor outstanding contributions to sustainable development.

The Presidential honors program was launched in October 1994. The Council received more than 300 nominations, and recommended 33 programs and initiatives — from which President Clinton chose 15 — that reflect the principals of sustainable development as defined by the successful integration of issues relating to economic viability, environmental integrity, and social well-being.

?The Presidential Award highlights the success of our efforts over many years to balance the needs of local businesses with our mission to achieve clean air,? Allard said.

Over 60 agencies, manufacturers, support organizations, and users participate in the APCD?s Clean Fuels and Energy Program. The program has successfully leveraged $5 million of offshore oil mitigation money to fund over $22 million in projects, generating new jobs and manufacturing businesses in Santa Barbara County, and helping convert defense contractors to high-technology manufacturing.

For more information about the Clean Fuels and Energy Program, call Mahesh Talwar, Manager of APCD?s Innovative Technologies Group, (805) 961-8822 or [email protected]. For information about the Award, call Bobbie Bratz, Supervisor of the Community Assistance Program (805) 961-8890, or [email protected].

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Web Pages Revised  

In late February, we uploaded a new home page to the Internet?s World Wide Web. The new page boasts a cleaned up design and lots of new information. From our home page, you can access:

  • About the APCD
  • Air Pollution in Santa Barbara County
  • What Can One Person Do?
  • On the Air
  • Business Assistance
  • Innovative Technologies
  • What?s New?
  • Related WWW Resources

We?re still working on adding more information to the existing pages, as well as:

  • Kids Club
  • The Green Award

We will be updating the site regularly to post the APCD Board agenda and action summary, public notices, news releases, and this newsletter. The quickest way to find recent additions is on the What?s New? page. We can be found on the Web at: http://www.apcd.santa-barbara. ca.us/~apcd. Take a look around. If you have questions or comments, send a message to [email protected].

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Permit Process Improvements

Throughout the state and country, private companies and government agencies are looking for improvements and efficiencies in the way they do business. The APCD has undertaken this effort over several years on several different fronts. We have formed internal continuous improvement teams, sought input from our regulated industries, looked at other air districts in California, and implemented requirements of the Air Pollution Permit Streamlining Act of 1992. As a result of these efforts, many of our processes have have improved — resulting in savings of money and time for us and for the businesses we regulate. We?ve also identified a number of ongoing improvement goals. This article describes some recent improvements to our permit process.

Permit Exemptions

In June 1994, we revised Rule 202 to exempt businesses emitting less than one ton per year of regulated pollutants from APCD permit requirements. To date, more than 50 businesses are no longer required to obtain a permit.Additional exemptions are expected to be adopted this year to reduce permit activities for temporary equipment and other permit categories.

Guaranteed Permit Timelines

As required by the Air Pollution Permit Streamlining Act, we defined small, medium, and large sources of air pollution and established guaranteed permit processing timelines for each of the three categories. The definitions and timelines are contained in proposed Rule 208, expected to be adopted by the APCD Board later this year.

Fast Track Permits

In May 1995, we implemented Fast Track permitting for selected categories of small businesses. Initially gas stations, dry cleaners, and some contaminated soil projects were included. This year, solvent wipe cleaning, auto body shops, and some boilers were added. Fast track permits are issued within 10 days of when the permit application is determined to be complete.

Conditional Final Permit

In December 1995, we implemented the conditional final permit for non-complex permits. By eliminating ?draft? permits, we avoid an entire step in the permit process, saving time and unnecessary paperwork. If the applicant requests, the conditional final permit can still serve as a draft permit.

ATC/PTO Consolidation

In August 1995, we adopted a new procedure allowing a consolidated authority to construct (ATC) and permit to operate (PTO) for certain permit modifications. The procedure has also been used to issue consolidated permits to short-term projects and will be expanded to cover additional permit categories. The new procedure applies to all source sizes not subject to certain enhanced permit requirements.

Portable Equipment

APCD staff have been active in helping develop a statewide model rule for portable equipment — essentially a permit that can travel with the equipment anywhere in California. State law requires the California Air Resources Board to have a portable equipment registration program in place by January 1997.

Certified Equipment

Another program being developed at the state level is a pre- certification program for certain types of equipment. The program will allow us to issue standard permits for certified equipment because there will be no unknowns regarding the emissions or controls. Pre-certification will complement our fast track permits and our guaranteed permit processing times for small sources.

For more information, call Peter Cantle, Manager of the Engineering Division, 805-961-8827.

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EPA Moves to Approve CA Plans

In Early March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed to approve California?s newest plan for achieving the national health standard for ozone air pollution. The state plan includes Santa Barbara County?s 1994 Clean Air Plan prepared by the Air Pollution Control District. EPA?s announcement will be followed by a 45-day public comment period.

The plans reviewed by the EPA include both local measures and statewide programs such as cleaner cars, trucks, buses, fuels, pesticides, and consumer products.

?These plans, if faithfully carried out, should mean healthy air for all Californians in the years to come,? said Felicia Marcus, regional administrator for the USEPA?s western region. ?They?re comprehensive strategies, designed by Californians for Californians.?

Although California?s air quality has improved in recent years, it remains the worst in the nation. More than three quarters of all Californians are currently exposed to health-threatening levels of air pollution.

For more information, call Tom Murphy, 805-961-8857.

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Roadside Testing of Vehicle Emissions  

Thanks to a grant from the Air Pollution Control District, remote sensing technology developed by scientists at the Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC) to monitor the Earth from space will soon be used in a study to improve local air quality.In the study, SBRC remote sensors will measure carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and oxides of nitrogen emissions from the tailpipes of vehicles passing roadside test locations in Carpinteria, Montecito, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Orcutt, Guadalupe, and Santa Maria.

SBRC sensors use an infrared beam which, when projected across a single lane of traffic, provides instantaneous measurements of auto emissions. The measurements will tell us the percentage and distribution of vehicles with poor or non-functioning smog control equipment and help us design pollution reducing strategies that may be required under state and federal clean air laws.

Remote emissions sensing is used in other California cities to identify and notify the owners of high polluting vehicles. The purpose of the Santa Barbara County program is to collect data to design future clean air strategies. No vehicle owners will be notified or required to make repairs as a result of this program.

For more information about this study, call Bobbie Bratz, Supervisor of the Community Assistance Program, 805-961-8833.

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Bike to Work Day 1996

Building on last year?s successful events in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Santa Maria, Bike to Work Day 1996 will be held Thursday, May 16. If you want to participate in this great community event by donating time, food, prizes, or money, or if you just want to ride and join the fun, call Lori Risque at Traffic Solutions, 805-564-3293

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Permit & Compliance Summary

    Dec 1995     Jan 1996  
ATC Applications Received 9 13
ATC Permits Issued 4 7
PTO Applications Received 11 5
PTO Permits Issued 24 5
Exemption Requests 2 2
Exemptions Determined 4 1
Inspections Made 66 75
Notices of Violation Issued 22 14
Administrative Infractions Documented  3 1

Contents of this issue | Index of past issues