Take a Vacation from your Car

Santa Barbara County Air Quality News July/August 1998

Inside this Issue:

Take a Vacation from your CarMeet APCD’s Technology and Environmental Assessment DivisionAPCD Budget AdoptedSmoking Out Smoking VehiclesSummer Ozone Season BeginsAPCD Board RoundupEV1 arrives at APCDPermit & 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 Bobbie Bratz at [email protected] or (805) 961-8890.

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Take a Vacation from your Car

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Debbie Weeks, Executive Director of the American Lung Association of Santa Barbara County (ALA) and APCD Director Doug Allard discuss the joint APCD/ALA initiative to reduce pollution from vehicles used by visitors to the Santa Barbara area.

 

Visitors to Santa Barbara will be invited to “take a vacation from their cars” as part of a project under development by the APCD, the American Lung Association (ALA) of Santa Barbara County, and several other partners. The goal is to reduce pollution from vehicles used by tourists and visitors to the Santa Barbara area.

APCD?s 1996 emission inventory identifies that on-road motor vehicles produce more than half of the air pollution caused by human activity in the county. Vehicles emit hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, the two pollutants involved in formation of ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone damages human lung tissue, manufactured materials, and crops. Santa Barbara County air does not currently meet federal and state health-based standards for ozone levels. The county is officially classified a “serious” ozone nonattainment area by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Concerned citizens have raised the issue of pollution generated by tourists and visitors at APCD Board and Community Advisory Council meetings. “And we?ve been listening,” said APCD Director Doug Allard. “That?s why we?ve initiated this project. The peak summer tourist season is also our peak ozone season. Encouraging tourists and visitors to leave their cars at home?or to leave them in the hotel parking lot?will help our air.”

Debbie Weeks, Executive Director of ALA of Santa Barbara County, added, “While we all agree that air pollution is a serious problem, we think it?s important to make it fun for people to leave their cars at home. We want to say to visitors: you don?t need to sit in traffic on Highway 101 for hours and hours. You don?t need to worry about finding a parking place, or figuring out which streets are one-way streets. Try taking the train or bus or plane to get here. And try taking a bus, walking, or riding a bike around town. You?ll have a good time.”

A number of other partners are active in project development, including the Santa Barbara Industrial Association, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau & Film Commission, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, Amtrak, the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (SBMTD), the Downtown Organization, and city and county government.

On June 18, the APCD Board gave conceptual approval for $30,000 for project funding (contingent on the project receiving additional support). Partners attending a recent project planning meeting at the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce viewed parts of a new interactive kiosk SBMTD has developed (with funds from Caltrans and APCD) showing city attractions and bus routes, and learned of plans by Amtrak to put all-new trains in service along the route by early 2000.

Said Allard, “We?re excited about the enthusiasm this project has generated in the community. We look forward to developing it with our partners?and we invite others to join us.”

For more information, contact Mary Byrd at APCD at 961-8833, or at [email protected].

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Meet APCD’s Technology and Environmental Assessment Division

One of three technical divisions at APCD, the Technology and Environmental Assessment Division (TEA) is responsible for air-quality monitoring, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of development projects, administration of the Innovative Technologies Group (ITG) program, business assistance, public information and outreach, and development of mandated Clean Air Plans and emission inventories.

Says TEA Division Manager Kathy Patton, “TEA, like the other two technical divisions at the APCD, is about cleaning up air pollution. We collect monitoring data twenty-four hours a day to find out if our county?s air is healthy. We use that data to develop our Clean Air Plan, which looks at all the different sources of air pollutants and determines how we can reduce pollution.”

She continues, “ITG develops incentives to reduce pollution from equipment and sources that otherwise wouldn?t have to reduce pollution. Our business assistance program helps businesses with both required and voluntary reductions. Our public outreach program helps the public understand what the agency does, and shows individuals ways that they can reduce pollution. Reviewing city and county decisions that have the potential to increase air pollution is yet another way that TEA works to clean our county?s air.”

CEQA specialists Ron Tan and Vijaya Jammalamadaka review plans for development projects. APCD is required to provide information on potential air quality impacts of projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Air Monitoring Group Supervisor Duane Sikorski is responsible for air monitoring equipment such as the upper air sounder at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport in Goleta. The sounder, funded and installed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), uses sound waves to monitor wind speed and direction and temperatures up to 5,000 feet in the atmosphere. This information is instrumental in determining whether pollution is being transported in the upper atmosphere.

“I prepare annual air quality reports, assembling data from a year of monitoring. Each month I review the air quality and meteorological data, and the analyzer calibration procedures. Before data are submitted to the California Air Resources Board database, I verify the data collection and make sure the instrument operation procedures follow the county Air Monitoring Protocols. The task of data analysis has really changed in the last ten years. Today, we do everything online, with raw data available for analysis in real time, as phone lines transmit information from the monitoring station to the District.”

–Janice Kettler, Air Quality Specialist

“I am primarily responsible for development, calculation and maintenance of an annual emission inventory. I compile data on the actual emissions from over 130 stationary sources of air pollution, including 15 offshore platforms. Most of these sources belong to the oil and gas industry, with the rest mineral, solvent, or combustion sources. This emission inventory information forms the foundation for our planning efforts, and for development of mandated Clean Air Plans.”

–Jim Fredrickson, Air Quality Specialist

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Board Roundup

Following are the highlights of the June and July APCD Board meetings:

June

–Executed grant agreement with Ken Schmidt to provide $9,000 for emission reductions associated with the repowering of his marine vessel.

–Adopted the APCD Fiscal Year 1998/1999 Budget (see article this page).

–Adopted a personnel resolution reducing staffing levels by six positions.

–Adopted a 1.2 % salary increase for all APCD employees.

–Conceptually approved pursuing an emission reduction project, “Take a Vacation from your Car: An Outreach Program for Visitors to Santa Barbara,” using up to $30,000 in motor vehicle registration surcharge fees and/or Innovative Technology funds.

July

–Executed grant agreements with the following farms for repowers of agricultural booster pumps with low-emission engines: A & A Farming ($5,000, one engine); Ed Wineman Farms ($5,000, one engine); Sutter Home Winery ($5,000, one engine); Betteravia Farms ($35,000, seven engines).

–Adopted Resolution of Appreciation recognizing Timothy J. Staffel for his years of service on the APCD Board.

–Considered Memorandum to Cities and County regarding contribution of general funds to the APCD.

–Adopted amendments to Memoranda of Agreement between Southern California Gas Company, County of Santa Barbara Department of General Services, and the APCD for the eventual removal of the CNG transfer station.

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APCD Budget Adopted

On June 18, the APCD Board approved the agency budget for Fiscal Year 1998/1999. The budget of $8.2 million represents an $850,000 reduction in appropriations and a $1 million reduction in fee revenue compared to the current year budget.

The revenue reduction was compensated for in the following ways:

–Six positions were deleted (all currently unoccupied due to attrition). One additional occupied position was funded for only six months.

–Approximately $300,000 in motor vehicle registration fees will be used in-house instead of being passed through as grants to outside organizations.

–An increase in $75,000 in the grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Comparing

–Several air districts receive contributions from city and county general funds in their areas; the APCD has not received county general funds since FY 1991/1992. In one fiscal year, the APCD received more than $700,000 in county general funds.

–With the new budget, APCD?s in-house use of motor vehicle registration fees is increased from 55% to 77%. Some air districts regularly use as much as 90% of these fees in-house to reduce pressure on industry fees. Others use less. APCD has typically used about 50% of fees in-house, and has dedicated the rest to emission reduction projects.

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Smoking Out Smoking Vehicles

The dirtiest vehicles can account for as much as 40 percent of total automotive pollution. Here?s what you can do to help with this problem. California Air Resources Board (CARB) has a statewide program for reporting smoking vehicles. When you see a smoking vehicle:

  1. Jot down the California license number, the make and model of the car, and where and when you saw it.
  2. Call 1-800-END-SMOG and report it.
  3. Or mail the information to:

            California Smoking Vehicle Program             9500 Telstar Avenue             El Monte, CA 91731

APCD will be receiving from CARB windshield stickers with the cell phone number, and pads to use to jot down the information. Call us at 961-8868 if you?d like us to send you a pad or a sticker to keep in your car.

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Summer Ozone Season Begins

Hot weather brings higher amounts of ground-level ozone.  APCD monitoring stations in two locations recently recorded the following exceedances for state and federal health-based standards for ozone.

Exceedances of state 1-hour standard:July 16, 17, 18, 19:  Paradise Road July 18: Santa Ynez

Exceedances of federal 8-hour standard:July 17, 18: Paradise Road

Ozone levels were elevated at several other APCD stations, but there were not other exceedances during this period.  Exceedances of standards affect requirements for APCD planning and regulations.


EV1 Arrives at APCD

An EV1, a two-seater electric car from General Motors was delivered in June for a six month loan to the agency from Saturn Corporation.  The EV1 is one of six electric vehicles that qualify for a buydown incentive program sponsored by APCD and the California Energy Commission.  It is powered by lead-acid batteries, and has a range of 50-90 miles on one charge.  For more information on the incentive program, or to invite the APCD to drive the EV1 to your community event or meeting, e-mail Gary Hoffman at [email protected]pcd.org, or call him at 961-8818.


Permit & Compliance Summary

    MAY   JUNE 
ATC Applications Received 7 4
ATC Permits Issued 4 5
PTO Applications Received 4 2
PTO Permits Issued 4 1
Exemption Requests 3 3
Exemptions Determined 0 2
Inspections Made 70 57
Notices of Violation Issued 11 23
 –Administrative Infractions Documented (subset of above)  0 1
Complaints Received  19 118

Contents of this issue | Business Focus | Index of past issues

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New Phone Numbers
The District has new direct lines for all staff, as well as for all of our phone lines, including our main phone number and Complaints line. You can find our new phone numbers on this webpage.

Nuevos números de teléfono
El Distrito tiene nuevos números de teléfono para comunicarse con el personal directamente, así como también para todas nuestras líneas telefónicas, incluyendo nuestro número principal y el de las Quejas. Puede encontrar nuestros nuevos números de teléfono en esta página web.