Santa Barbara County Air Quality News May/June 1996
Art-Craft Helped by APCD and IRTASummer Smog Season Gets and Early StartAir Monitoring Network Operating More EfficientlyBiking Made EasierNew Channel Islands Air Monitor1996 Green AwardPermit & 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, [email protected] or (805) 961-8833.
Art-Craft, a small firm in Santa Maria, employs 20 people to maintain, repair, strip and paint private aircraft. Art-Craft was having difficulty finding an aircraft primer with good corrosion resistance that also met the APCD?s Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) limits. Art-Craft was considering expensive control equipment as a possible solution.
To help them avoid the cost of purchasing new control equipment, the APCD suggested that Art-Craft work with the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA) to explore the possibility of using a different, less polluting, primer. IRTA is a non-profit organization that specializes in helping businesses find, test, and use low- and non-polluting solvent alternatives. The APCD contributes funding to IRTA?s Pollution Prevention Center.
IRTA identified a waterborne primer that is Boeing-qualified for commercial aircraft. Commercial aircraft primers must meet stringent standards, including corrosion resistance. The waterborne primer has a low VOC content and costs half as much. Teresa Venegas, President of Art-Craft, stated, ?the primer works well and has a great price.?
During the initial facility assessment, IRTA evaluated Art-Craft?s methylene chloride emissions from the aircraft stripping operation. Without changes, Art-Craft would have been required to obtain a federal Title V operating permit pursuant to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and might also have been subject to additional regulations under the Aerospace National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. To address these requirements, IRTA analyzed the waste from the stripping operation and tested lower methylene chloride content strippers. The analysis determined that methylene chloride emissions are actually lower than the Title V threshold. IRTA and the APCD are helping Art-Craft modify their APCD permit to exclude them from the federal Title V permitting program.
Working together, Art-Craft, IRTA, and the APCD were able to find solutions that are good for business and air quality. Ms. Venegas wants businesses to know they shouldn?t be afraid to ask for help. ?There are a lot of good things they (government) can do for you,? she says.
For more information on this or other pollution prevention programs, call the APCD?s Business Assistance Line at (805) 961-8868.
Our summer ?smog season? runs from May through October, though typically we have a few bad air days in April, too. Between April 7 and May 12 this year, we had 8 days when air pollution levels rose above the California health standard for ozone. The standard was exceeded at sites from Point Conception to Carpinteria and from the Los Padres National Forest out to Santa Rosa Island.
On Wednesday May 1, and on Mother?s day Weekend, May 11 and 12, pollution levels topped the higher federal ozone standard, too. Typically, we see levels above the federal standard, which is less protective of public health, just a few days per year. Warm temperatures and stagnant weather patterns trap local pollutants and contribute to high pollution levels.
The recent exceedances of the federal ozone standard eliminates the possibility of the county being redesignated to ?attainment? of the federal standard by the 1996 deadline in the Clean Air Act. We expect to be reclassified as ?serious nonattainment? and face increased regulatory, planning, and monitoring requirements.
For more information, call Tom Murphy in the Planning and Communty Assistance Section, (805) 961-8857.
The APCD collects data on the quality of our air from a network of 27 air monitoring stations throughout the county. The stations contain sophisticated equipment to measure ambient air temperature, wind speed and direction, and the concentration of several pollutants on a continual basis. The stations and their equipment need frequent maintenance, calibration, and general inspection to ensure they are working properly.
Twenty monitoring stations are operated by large industrial facilities: 14 as a condition of their APCD permits and six required through county land use permits. Five stations are designed to measure air quality in the vicinity of the facility, and nine measure background pollutant levels on a regional basis. The six county required stations focus on odor and meteorology.
A monitoring station in Santa Maria and one in downtown Santa Barbara are operated by the California Air Resources Board.
The remaining five stations are maintained and operated by the APCD. These include full monitoring stations in Goleta, El Capitan, Lompoc, and Santa Ynez, and an ozone monitor on Santa Rosa Island (see related article page 3). Since 1991, we have been working to streamline the operation of all of these stations through increased automation and preventative maintenance. The result is a reduction in staff from three full time employees to one and a half, even with the Santa Rosa Island station added in April of this year. In addition, the quality of our data has improved. Here?s how we did it.
New Equipment We?ve replaced old equipment with newer, more reliable equipment that is easier to automate. The cost of most equipment is easily recovered through reduced labor costs.
Preventative Maintenance We?ve established a stringent preventative maintenance program for ourselves to avoid problems that result in lost data and unscheduled site visits.
Automation Documentation of station activities has been streamlined and computerized. Almost all routine equipment calibrations have been automated. In the past, calibrations were done manually, requiring frequent site visits.
The APCD?s data acquisition system is used for acquiring and processing the data. The powerful automated correction of data based on the most recent calibration and other automated functions save a lot of staff time in processing and validating the data.
Remote Access New equipment is being added to allow complete control of all main components via modem. This will further reduce the number of required site visits.
Computer terminals and modems have been installed at all stations so that an operator on-site can access historical data housed at the APCD. These terminals also allow the operator to perform other tasks, such as validating data, while waiting for equipment to stabilize.
PM10 Samplers The particulate matter (PM10) samplers were modified to be controlled and monitored by the station data logger, replacing manual controls and allowing staff to detect failed samples without visiting the site.
Using our experience, we are now working with the operators of the facility-specific monitoring stations to identify similar ways to reduce their operating costs.
For more information about the air quality monitoring network, call Duane Sikorski, Supervisor of the Air Monitoring Section, (805) 961-8871.
New bike racks and lockers throughout the county are making it easier than ever to travel by bike.
Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) has installed bike racks on buses serving UCSB (line 24), Carpinteria (line 20) and Goleta (line 12). Santa Maria Area Transit has bike racks on all fixed route buses. Cyclists are responsible for loading, securing, and unloading their bicycles. Motorized bicycles and bike trailers are not allowed on the racks or inside the bus. For information, call MTD, 805-683-3702, or Santa Maria Area Transit, 928-5624. Bike lockers are available at some bus transfer locations, including Arrellaga Street in Santa Barbara and the K-Mart Plaza on Hollister Avenue near Storke Road. Call Rob Dayton at the city of Santa Barbara, 805-563-5385, regarding Arrellaga Street, or Wilson Hubbell at the County, 568-3046, regarding Hollister Avenue.
Bike lockers are also available in some Santa Barbara city parking lots. For information, call Jay Hillje at the Downtown Parking office, 805-966-9368
In April this year, the APCD installed an ozone air quality monitoring station on Santa Rosa Island. The installation culminates a year long inter-agency effort of the National Park Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the Geophysics Laboratory of the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center, and the APCD. The federal Clean Air Act requires the Park Service to monitor air quality in national parks.
The EPA and Navy are funding the project. The Park Service provides the shelter, utilities, and a ranger trained by the APCD to perform routine instrument maintenance on the island. The APCD selected, configured, and installed the instrumentation, and will manage the data, including quality assurance and submittal to the EPA?s air quality database. The APCD will also troubleshoot and perform major instrument repair. The ARB will conduct the required yearly audits.
The Santa Rosa Island station is the only monitoring site on the Channel Islands and will provide important air quality data. The station is located at Becher?s Bay, on the northeast corner of the island. The data are sent to the APCD via cellular phone twice daily. All calibrations, instrument diagnostic checks, and troubleshooting will be performed remotely by the APCD.
For more information about this station, call Joel Craig of the Air Monitoring Section, 805-961-8856.
Nominations for the 1996 Green Award are being accepted now until June 21, 1996. For a brochure and nomination form, call Rose Pueschel, 805-961-8822. The purpose of the Green Award is to recognize voluntary private sector activities that improve the quality of our environment. Awards will be announced during Pollution Prevention Week in September.
|FEB 1996||MAR 1996|
|ATC Applications Received||17||7|
|ATC Permits Issued||9||9|
|PTO Applications Received||34||11|
|PTO Permits Issued||20||10|
|Notices of Violation Issued||19||27|
|Administrative Infractions Documented||3||5|