Santa Barbara County was recently designated nonattainment-transitional for ozone under the California Clean Air Act. As a result, the 2016 Ozone Plan’s control measure implementation schedule was revised. View Revised Schedule.

Our air quality attainment plans provide an overview of our air quality and sources of air pollution, and identify the pollution-control measures needed to meet clean-air standards. In Santa Barbara County, our plans are focused on achieving attainment of both state and federal ozone standards. The schedule for plan development is outlined by state and federal requirements, and is influenced by our air quality. These plans affect the development of our rules and regulations and other programs. These plans also influence a range of activities outside the District, including transportation planning, allocation of monies designated for air-quality projects, and more.

Read on to find out more about our air quality attainment plans, or:

The Process

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) develop and implement air quality standards, and, using the ambient air monitoring data collected at the 17 stations around the county, determine the attainment classification for our county, or whether our county’s air is in attainment of certain air quality standards. Our county’s attainment classification drives our clean air planning process, identifying the required emissions reductions that must be obtained and determining the deadlines.

Santa Barbara County has a designation of attainment/unclassifiable for the current federal 8-hour ozone standard.

The EPA and the CARB also specify the type of plan needed, and set guidelines for the plan contents. Working closely with the District Community Advisory Council, and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, District staff develop draft plans according to deadlines laid out by the EPA and CARB. After a public review process, District staff develop a final plan. The District Board then adopts the Plan and sends it on to the EPA and/or the CARB for final approval.

Our 2001 Clean Air Plan (Federal Clean Air Act) was adopted by the District Board, and approved by both the EPA and CARB. This Plan is in effect for federal standards. This plan shows how the county will maintain attainment with the federal one-hour ozone standard through 2015. It also includes a three-year plan revision required by the state to show how the county will work toward meeting the state one-hour ozone standard.

Our 2004 Clean Air Plan (Three-Year Update for California Clean Air Act) This Plan was adopted by the APCD Board in December of 2004, and has been submitted to the California Air Resources Board. This Plan shows how the county will make progress towards meeting the state one-hour ozone standard (the 2001 Plan remains in effect for federal requirements).

Our 2007 Clean Air Plan was adopted by the District Board on August 16, 2007. The federal requirements pertain to provisions of the Federal Clean Air Act that apply to our current designation as an attainment area for the federal 8-hour ozone standard. Areas that are designated as attainment for the federal 8-hour ozone standard and attainment for the previous federal 1-hour ozone standard with an approved maintenance plan must submit an 8-hour maintenance plan.

The California Clean Air Act requires that every three years areas update their Clean Air Plans to attain the state 1-hour ozone standard. The 2007 Plan provides a three-year update to the APCD’s 2004 Clean Air Plan. Previous plans developed to comply with the state ozone standard include the 1991 Air Quality Attainment Plan, the 1994 Clean Air Plan, the 1998 Clean Air Plan, and the 2001 Clean Air Plan.

Our 2010 Clean Air Plan was adopted by the District Board on January 20, 2011.

Our 2013 Clean Air Plan was adopted by the District Board on March 19, 2015.

Our 2016 Ozone Plan was adopted by the District Board on October 20, 2016. This plan is the eighth update to the District’s 1991 Air Quality Attainment Plan, and addresses the California Clean Air Act requirements to plan for attainment and maintenance of the state 1-hour and 8-hour ozone air quality standards.

What’s in a Plan

Our air quality attainment plans include:

  • overview of planning efforts
  • information on our air quality
  • emissions inventory
  • existing and proposed emission control measures
  • existing and proposed transportation control measures
  • emissions forecasts
  • public comments, and other topics as appropriate.

The Plan forecasting process sheds light on short-term and long-term issues and challenges for our county’s air quality. For example, in preparing the emissions forecast for the 2001 Clean Air Plan, the District determined that emissions from large ships going through the Santa Barbara Channel were largely uncontrolled and growing at an alarming rate. This understanding was confirmed and expanded in the 2004 Clean Air Plan. As a result, the District has been working with regional, state, national, and international agencies and organizations to promote projects to reduce these emissions.

These plans outline areas in which new rules or measures need to be developed and implemented. Plans can influence areas outside of the District as well, directly or indirectly. For example, the plans can influence transportation planning, or the distribution of transportation funds that are earmarked for projects to improve air quality. These plans are often referenced or cited in other environmental documents.

For more information follow the links below or contact Molly Pearson at 805-961-8838.