Santa Barbara County Air Quality News November/December 1996
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.
The APCD received two awards in October, recognizing our ongoing public- private partnerships and our 1996 Pollution Prevention Week activities.
On October 23, we received the 1996 California Governor?s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. The award, given in the category of Environmental Economic Partnerships, recognizes the APCD?s Clean Fuels and Energy Program, which promotes public private partnerships to reduce air pollution and to help the business community.
In March of this year, the Clean Fuels and Energy Program was recognized by the 1996 Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. Both awards highlight the success of our efforts over many years to balance the needs of local businesses with our mission to achieve clean air. We share the honor with all participants in the Clean Fuels and Energy Program.
These boats represent many local businesses that have benefited from the Environmental Economic Partnership recognized by Governor Pete Wilson. The APCD?s Clean Fuels and Energy Program helped install efficient, low-polluting diesel engines in these and other commercial vessels operating in the Santa Barbara Channel.
P2 Activity of the Week Award
On October 17, the APCD was presented with a 1996 Pollution Prevention “Activity of the Week” Award by the California Local Government Commission. The award was presented at the 7th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference for California Local Government Agencies. The award acknowledges our activities during Pollution Prevention Week 1996, including a resolution adopted by the APCD Board, the Green Awards, articles on pollution prevention in our newsletter, publication of An Introduction to Pollution Prevention at Your Business, a pollution prevention brochure, and a free demonstration on water-borne wood coatings.
Santa Barbara County?s 1994 Clean Air Plan was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) via the California Air Resources Board in late 1994. In September of this year, the EPA approved the California plan for all areas except Santa Barbara County.
EPA could not approve our plan because recent violations of the federal ozone standard in Carpinteria, Gaviota, and Las Flores Canyon make it impossible for us to attain the standard this year.
Rather than allowing EPA to disapprove our plan, the APCD Board requested the California Air Resources Board to withdraw the attainment demonstration so that we can revise and resubmit that element of the plan. This will provide more time before sanctions can be imposed and will allow the EPA to approve all other portions of our plan.
Failure to meet the 1996 deadline does not mean our air is getting worse. In fact, our air quality continues to improve. The figure on page 2 shows the total number of state and federal ozone violations each year since 1986. Totals for 1996 are based on preliminary data through October.
The graph above does not fairly represent how close we are to the federal standard. We don?t have to show zero federal exceedances. In order to meet the standard, there can be no more than three exceedances of the standard at any one monitoring station during a three year period. Only 3 of our 27 monitoring stations don?t meet this criteria — by five or less parts per billion.
The days we are likely to exceed the federal standard are very hot, calm days. Your efforts on these days to drive less, don?t paint or use gas powered garden equipment, and fill up your gas tank after dark can make a difference.
For more information on our attainment status, call Tom Murphy of the Planning and Community Assistance Section, 961-8857.
California has begun implementation of a new Smog Check Program — Smog Check II — which is designed to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. This is a statewide program, implemented by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair.
Smog Check II includes:
- testing of vehicles on a new type of equipment (a treadmill-like device called a dynamometer);
a percentage of vehicles tested at centralized state-contracted testing facilities;G roadside remote sensing to identify gross polluters;
special requirements for gross polluters;
electronic transmission of smog certificates; and
new cost minimums for repair waivers, with a one-time economic hardship extension.
The new requirements for testing equipment, centralized facilities, and remote sensing are in effect only in California?s smoggiest urbanized areas: Davis, Vacaville, Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield, southern Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, parts of western San Bernadino and Riverside Counties, Hemet-San Jacinto, Palm Springs, and western San Diego County.
In Santa Barbara County, a biennial test at a licensed smog shop is still required. There are three levels of emission limits: Pass, Fail, and Gross Polluter. These limits vary by the vehicle model and year. Gross polluters emit up to 25 times more pollutants than the standards allow, and they must be repaired — regardless of cost. If the car is repaired to below the gross polluter level, but still can?t pass, a cost waiver can be pursued. Once a car is identified as a gross polluter, it must be tested every year for two to five years.Cars that are kept in good working condition should not have a problem with the testing. Mechanics are allowed to make certain pre-test repairs. If you think you might fail the test, it is a good idea to have this done.
Enhancing the local smog check program to require the new testing equipment, centralized facilities, or remote sensing as described above is now under consideration by the Santa Barbara County APCD Board. Enhanced smog check is a contingency measure of our 1994 Clean Air Plan. The contingency measure was designed to be implemented if we failed to attain the federal ozone standard by 1996. We failed to meet the standard and are moving forward to determine what aspects of enhanced smog check would be suitable for our county.
For a copy of a Smog Check Program Fact Sheet with more detail, call Rose Pueschel, (805) 961-8822. If you are having problems getting an appointment with the referee, call 1-800-622-7733. For more information on the enhanced smog check contingency measure in the 1994 Clean Air Plan, call Tom Murphy, (805) 961-8857.
Too many cars on the road and in parking lots can take all the fun out of holiday shopping. Slower driving speeds, more miles driven, and longer idling times can cause local air pollution, especially carbon monoxide, to soar. You can make a difference. Here?s how:
Make your gifts at home or order them by mail. Shop early to avoid congestion and stress. Shop with a friend. Combine shopping with other errands. Park in a central location and walk to different stores. Or try public transportation. Avoid drive through windows at banks and eateries. Offer to take your neighbors? packages to the post office with yours. Carpool to your holiday parties.
And don?t forget that the products you buy may cause air pollution during production and disposal. Use your buying power to support businesses with environmentally sound principals. Select products with less packaging and less chemical processing — bulk and refillable products, organic cotton clothing, towels, and bed linens. When packing your gifts, use popcorn (unbuttered, of course) or shredded newspaper instead of styrofoam peanuts. Buy cards and wrapping paper made from recycled materials. Recycle used paper and boxes.
Reduce the use of your fireplace, and never burn wrapping paper, plastic, or other trash. Consider decorating a living tree and planting it outdoors after the holidays. If you buy a cut tree, ask your garbage hauler about their tree recycling program after the holidays.
All of us at the APCD wish you a happy, healthy, smog-free holiday season!
California?s cars, by law, are the cleanest in the world. To make sure they stay that way, the California Vehicle Code prohibits engine modifications that increase emissions. These laws allow modifications or the installation of parts only when proven by the manufacturer that they do not increase vehicle emissions. When properly designed, most performance parts and modifications do not increase vehicle emissions.
When adding or replacing a part on your vehicle, make sure the part is legal to use. If it is an off-road or racing part it is not legal for street use. Check the manufacturer?s catalogue and look for disclaimers, such as “Not legal for street use in California.”
To obtain a brochure on aftermarket parts or ask questions about a replacement part, please call the California Air Resources Board Vehicle Hotline at (800) 242-4450.
Bike to Work Design Contest
The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is sponsoring a design contest for Bike to Work ?97. The winning artwork will be reproduced in full color on 1000 posters and 2400 T-shirts for distribution in Santa Barbara County. The artist will be awarded $200 plus 10 T-shirts and 20 posters.
Submitted artwork must fit into a space 10″ wide by 13″ high and must contain the words “Bike to Work ?97” and “Santa Barbara County.” It should also have an image or representation of one or more bicyclists. Contest deadline is January 14, 1996.
For official contest rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to “Design Contest,” Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190.
|AUG 1996||SEP 1996|
|ATC Applications Received||19||9|
|ATC Permits Issued||9||10|
|PTO Applications Received||19||14|
|PTO Permits Issued||21||15|
|Title V Part 70 Applications Received||0||1|
|Notices of Violation Issued||20||29|
|Administrative Infractions Documented (subset of above)||7||7|