Contents


Air Quality Summary

This annual report provides information on the air quality in Santa Barbara County for 2003.

In 2003, Santa Barbara County met the federal standards for all measured pollutants except for the 8-hour ozone standard. The 8-hour ozone standard was exceeded on 4 days during 2003. (Read more about ozone).

Santa Barbara County also met the California state standards for all pollutants except for ozone (O3) and particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10). The California ozone standard of 0.09 parts per million (ppm) was exceeded on 7 days in 2003, while the state PM10 standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded 3 times.

Specific information about the ozone exceedances in Santa Barbara county can be found at Summary of Days Exceeding Ozone Standards.


National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) (Title 1, Section 109) requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prescribe national primary ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for certain air pollutants where public health criteria (protecting sensitive populations such as asthmatics) have been established. These pollutant levels were chosen to protect the health of the most susceptible individuals in a population, including children, the elderly and those with chronic respiratory ailments. A secondary standard is also prescribed to protect human welfare (visibility, crop damage, building damage). These pollutants are known as criteria pollutants.

The EPA currently has NAAQS for seven criteria pollutants: ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead (Pb), particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5).

In addition to the EPA standards, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has set air quality standards for the same criteria pollutants and four others: sulfates, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), vinyl chloride (chloroethene, C2H3Cl), and visibility reducing particles.

Table 1 lists the current Federal and California standards.

Figure 1 shows the locations of all monitoring stations in Santa Barbara county operating in 2003.


Air Quality Monitoring Station Status for 2003

In 2003, there were 18 monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County, of which seven were operated by the APCD. The remaining stations were operated by the CARB, the National Park Service, and private industry. The APCD assumed operation of the Vandenberg station on behalf of the Air Force on July 1, 2003. Monitoring of NO2, CO, PM2.5 and meteorological parameters resumed at the Santa Barbara station in 2003. Table 2 lists the monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County during 2003 and the pollutants measured at each station.


Criteria Pollutant Summary

Table 3 presents the four highest 1-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2003. The highest hourly ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County in 2003 was 107 parts per billion (ppb). This concentration was recorded at three stations on two separate days. The Paradise Road station recorded 107 ppb on the 14th of September. The Lompoc HS&P station and Las Flores Canyon station both recorded 107 ppb on the 26th of October. In comparison, the highest ozone value recorded in 2002 was 117 ppb, at the Paradise Road station. The last federal standard ozone exceedance recorded in Santa Barbara County (128 ppb at Las Flores Canyon) was in 2000.

Table 4 lists the four highest 8-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2003. The highest 8-hour hour ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County was 102 ppb at the Las Flores Canyon 1 station on October 26. The high value for 2002 was 90 ppb at the Paradise Road station.

Figure 2 shows ozone exceedance days above the California State and Federal Standards for 1988 through 2003.

Table 5 shows the three highest 1-hour concentrations for NO2 for 2003. The highest concentration for this pollutant was 55 ppb. No state or federal standards were exceeded for NO2 in 2003.

Table 6 shows the three highest 1-hour concentrations for SO2 for 2003. The highest concentration for this pollutant was 91 ppb. No state or federal standards were exceeded for SO2 in 2003.

Table 7 shows the three highest 1-hour concentrations for CO for 2003. The highest concentration for this pollutant was 3.0 ppm. No state or federal standards were exceeded for CO in 2003.

Table 8 provides the 2003 particulate summary for PM10. There were no samples over the federal 24-hour standard of 150 µg/m3. There were three stations that measured particulate levels over the state 24-hour California standard of 50 µg/m3 during the year. The highest value for 2003 (96 µg/m3) was recorded on December 17th at the Vandenberg Air Force Base station.


New in 2003

Regulatory Changes:

Santa Barbara County was redesignated as a federal 1-hour ozone attainment area in 2003, effective August 8, 2003.

Monitoring Station Changes:

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District began daily operation and maintenance of the Vandenberg AFB monitoring station on July 1, 2003.

Monitoring of NO2, CO, wind parameters and PM2.5 was started at the Santa Barbara station in 2003.