2001 Clean Air Plan 

The 2001 Clean Air Plan was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2003 (News Release was published June 16, 2003 – releases prior to 2011 available upon request). This Plan was designed to show how the county will maintain the federal 1-hour ozone standard and attain the state 1-hour ozone standard. The Executive Summary that follows below provides a snapshot of the plan, you may also download the Executive Summary (PDF file), or view the Table of Contents of the entire 2001 Clean Air Plan.

Executive Summary


Download Executive Summary

View Table of Contents of Entire 2001 Clean Air Plan


Air quality in Santa Barbara County continues to improve, with 1999 being one of the cleanest years on record. In fact, our air quality has improved to the point that it is clean enough to meet the federal 1-hour ozone standard. Meeting this milestone is clear evidence that Santa Barbara County residents are breathing cleaner air and it allows us to request the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to declare us an attainment area for the federal 1-hour ozone standard. For the USEPA to take this action, we must develop and adopt a plan that documents how we achieved clean air and how we will continue to keep it clean.

Continuing progress toward clean air is a challenge that demands participation by the entire community. A Clean Air Plan represents the blueprint for air quality improvement in Santa Barbara County. A Clean Air Plan’s goals are to explain the complex interactions between emissions and air quality and to design the best possible emission control strategy in a cost-effective manner. This 2001 Clean Air Plan (2001 Plan) also represents a partnership among the Air Pollution Control District (APCD), the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the USEPA, local businesses, and the community at large to reduce pollution from all sources: cars, trucks, industry, consumer products, and many more.

We have made remarkable progress in cleaning our air; the number of days on which we experience unhealthful air quality in Santa Barbara County has been reduced by over 80 percent from 1990 to 2000 despite substantial increases in population and vehicle miles traveled. The community should be proud of these accomplishments to date in reducing air pollution. This 2001 Plan reflects a commitment to continue this progress and bring truly clean air to all of the residents of Santa Barbara County.

This 2001 Plan addresses both state and federal clean air act mandates. More specifically, this 2001 Plan addresses all federal planning requirements for “Maintenance” areas, including a demonstration that we attained the federal 1-hour ozone standard and a demonstration that we will continue to attain the federal standard through 2015. In addition, this 2001 Plan re-establishes on-road mobile source reactive organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen emission budgets for the purposes of transportation conformity. This 2001 Plan also provides a three-year update to the APCD’s 1991 Air Quality Attainment Plan, the 1994 Clean Air Plan, and the 1998 Clean Air Plan for the state ozone standard, as required by the 1988 California Clean Air Act.

Why is this 2001 Plan being prepared?

This 2001 Plan is being prepared to formally request USEPA to redesignate Santa Barbara County as an attainment area for the federal 1-hour ozone standard. From 1997 through 2000, ozone concentrations measured throughout Santa Barbara County were clean enough to meet this standard, allowing us to request redesignation. To be redesignated, we must have an approved Maintenance Plan that includes an attainment emissions inventory, future year projections of the inventory demonstrating continued attainment, a commitment to continue air monitoring, procedures to verify continued attainment, and contingency provisions that will promptly correct any violation of the federal ozone standard that occurs after redesignation.

Additionally, state law requires that our state planning requirements must be evaluated every three years. To coordinate all applicable state and federal planning requirements, this 2001 Plan integrates the technical and policy issues associated with both the state and federal 1-hour ozone standards. This 2001 Plan therefore satisfies both state and federal planning requirements.

What is new in this 2001 Plan revision?

Each clean air plan revision represents a snapshot in time, based on the best available current information. This 2001 Plan is similar to the 1998 Clean Air Plan but includes significant new information. Some key new elements are:

  • Updated local air quality information (1999 and 2000);
  • An attainment emission inventory (1999);
  • Identification of every feasible emission control measure as part of the overall emission control strategy; and
  • A Maintenance demonstration for the federal 1-hour ozone standard (through 2015).

How was this 2001 Plan revision prepared?

We prepared this 2001 Plan in partnership with SBCAG, ARB, and USEPA. SBCAG provided future growth projections, developed the transportation control measures, and estimated the on-road mobile source emissions. ARB provided information on statewide mobile sources and consumer product control measures. USEPA provided information on the status of the control efforts for federally regulated sources.

To help provide important local policy and technical input on APCD clean air plans and rules, the APCD Board of Directors established the Community Advisory Council. Starting in July of 2000, the CAC considered various components of this 2001 Plan at their monthly meetings. The input provided by the Community Advisory Council was, on many occasions, directly incorporated into this 2001 Plan. APCD staff also conducted public workshops to obtain direct public input on the 2001 Plan.

What are the health effects of ozone?

The health effects of ozone focus on the respiratory tract. Asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders are worsened by high ozone concentrations. High ozone concentrations can be especially harmful to children, the elderly, people with respiratory illnesses, and people who exercise outdoors. Long-term exposure to moderate levels of ozone can damage even healthy people’s lungs. Ozone air pollution also hurts the economy by increasing health care expenses, loss of work due to illness, and damage to agricultural crops, buildings, paint, and rubber.

Is air quality improving?

Santa Barbara County’s air quality is improving, as measured ozone concentrations continue to decline. In 1999, for example, our monitoring stations recorded only three exceedances of the more health protective state ozone standard and only one exceedance of the federal 1-hour ozone standard. This represents the cleanest year on record! During 2000, we experienced 6 exceedances of the state 1-hour ozone standard and one exceedance of the federal 1-hour ozone standard. Figure EX-1 shows the number of state and federal ozone standard exceedances from 1990 through 2000. The most important feature of Figure EX-1 is the decline of state 1-hour ozone standard exceedances since 1990 by over 80 percent.

Figure EX-1

What are the key federal requirements that this 2001 Plan addresses?

To grant our request for redesignation, USEPA must address the five criteria contained in Section 107(d)(3)(E) of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments as described below. The intent of this 2001 Plan is to give USEPA sufficient basis to:

  • Determine that the national ambient air quality standard for ozone has been attained.
  • Fully approve our applicable implementation plan under Section 110(k).
  • Determine that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions.
  • Determine that we have met all applicable requirements for the area under Section 110 and Part D.
  • Fully approved our Maintenance Plan, including contingency provisions, for our area under Section 175A.

In addition, this 2001 Plan re-establishes on-road mobile source reactive organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen emission budgets, which will be used to evaluate conformity of future transportation improvement plans and programs to ensure that they are consistent with this 2001 Plan.

What are the key state requirements that this 2001 Plan addresses?

The key requirements of the California Clean Air Act that this 2001 Plan addresses are the Triennial Progress Report (H&SC Section 40924(b)) and the Triennial Plan Revision (H&SC Section 40925(a)). Additionally, this 2001 Plan must provide an annual 5 percent emission reduction of ozone precursors or, if this cannot be done, include every feasible measure as part of the emission control strategy. Finally, state law requires this 2001 Plan to provide for attainment of the state ambient air quality standards at the earliest practicable date (H&SC Section 40910).

How has the emission inventory changed?

In this 2001 Plan, an updated emission inventory was developed for 1999. This inventory serves as our attainment emission inventory and is used to forecast emissions for 2005, 2010, and 2015. The 1999 attainment inventory was developed in accordance with ARB and USEPA policies and procedures and represents the most up-to-date inventory established for Santa Barbara County. The emissions inventory follows the organizational structure developed by ARB and assigns all air pollution sources into one of four categories. The four categories are stationary sources, area-wide sources, mobile sources, and natural sources. On-road mobile source emissions are estimated with the latest approved computer models, vehicle registration information, and emission factors.

Where does our human-generated air pollution come from?

Figure EX-2 shows the attainment emission inventory for 1999. This figure presents the estimated emissions of reactive organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen, (precursors that combine to form ozone), generated locally from human activities and does not include emissions on the Outer Continental Shelf or those from natural sources (seeps and vegetation). The largest contributor to our locally generated air pollution is on-road mobile sources (cars and trucks), which combine to contribute over 60 percent of the reactive organic gases and 88 percent of the emissions of oxides of nitrogen. Other mobile sources (planes, trains, boats), the evaporation of solvents, combustion of fossil fuels, surface cleaning and coating, and petroleum production and marketing combine to make up the remainder. Figure EX-3 shows the attainment emission inventory for the Outer Continental Shelf, where the majority of reactive organic gas and oxides of nitrogen emissions comes from mobile sources (i.e., international marine vessels).

Figure EX-2

Figure EX-3

Has the overall control strategy changed?

The overall combined reactive organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen control strategy adopted in the 1998 Clean Air Plan continues in this 2001 Plan, with the addition of eight new or revised stationary source control measures and updated transportation control measures. The 1998 Clean Air Plan contained: (1) the control measures needed to meet federal requirements for attaining the federal 1-hour ozone standard, (2) additional control measures needed to address state requirements and attain the state 1-hour ozone standard, and (3) further study measures. This 2001 Plan evaluates each of the further study measures identified in the 1998 Clean Air Plan and sets a schedule for adoption of those measures that were determined to be feasible. This 2001 Plan also provides updated information on emission control measures approved under the 1994 California State Implementation Plan.

Does the 2001 Plan Show that we will maintain the federal 1-hour ozone standard?

This 2001 Plan demonstrates that we will maintain the federal 1-hour ozone standard through 2015. The demonstration is based on an attainment emission inventory assessment of the overall control strategy proposed in the 2001 Plan. However, the impacts of transported pollution from areas and sources outside of our local control (e.g., international marine vessels), may impact our ability to achieve this projected milestone. We must also recognize that varying weather conditions can effect local air quality and concentrations of pollutants.

What are the implications of being redesignated as an attainment area?

There are several implications associated with being redesignated as an attainment area for the federal 1-hour ozone standard. First, a redesignation is clear proof that our local air quality has improved and that is good news for public health. Second, federal emission thresholds for Title V permits and general conformity analyses will increase from 50 tons per year to 100 tons per year. Third, Santa Barbara County will avoid additional federal mandates associated with “severe” nonattainment areas. Last, a change in our federal designation to attainment may result in a decrease in federal transportation funds allocated to the Santa Barbara County.

Does the electricity crisis impact this 2001 Plan?

The electricity crisis in California may affect this 2001 Plan’s redesignation effort. If blackouts occur on smoggy days, there will likely be an increase in ozone precursor emissions from emergency backup generators. We also expect that there will be an increase in emissions from power plants and “peakers” throughout the state. These potential increases in emissions are not accounted for in this 2001 Plan because the emission increases and their impacts are very difficult to predict. Therefore, while the electricity crisis may ultimately affect our local air quality, it is not specifically addressed in this 2001 Plan.

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