Contents


Air Quality Summary

This annual report provides information on the air quality in Santa Barbara County for 2006.

In 2006, Santa Barbara County met the federal standards for all measured pollutants.

Santa Barbara County also met the California state standards for all pollutants except for the 24-hour particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) standard. The California state PM10 standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded twice.

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 2006.


Air Quality Monitoring Station Status for 2006

In 2006, there were 17 monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County, of which eight were operated by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD.) The remaining stations were operated by the CARB, and private industry. Table 2 lists the monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County during 2006 and the pollutants and parameters measured at each station.


Criteria Pollutant Summary

Table 3 presents the four highest 1-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2006. The highest hourly ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County in 2006 was 102 parts per billion (ppb). This concentration was recorded at the Carpinteria station on the 18th of September. In comparison, the highest ozone value recorded in 2005 was 91 ppb, at Santa Ynez.

Table 4 lists the four highest 8-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2006. The highest 8-hour hour ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County was 82 ppb at the Paradise Road station on June 22. The high value for 2005 was 82 ppb at the Paradise Road station.

Figure 2 shows ozone exceedance days above the California State and Federal Standards for 1988 through 2007.

Table 5 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for NO2 for 2006. The highest concentration for this pollutant was 63 ppb. No state or federal standards were exceeded for NO2 in 2006.

Table 6 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for SO2 for 2006. The highest concentration for this pollutant was 24 ppb. No state or federal standards were exceeded for SO2 in 2006.

Table 7 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for CO for 2006. The highest concentration for this pollutant was 2.3 ppm. No state or federal standards were exceeded for CO in 2006.

Table 8 provides the 2006 particulate summary for PM10. There were no samples over the federal 24-hour standard of 150 µg/m3. There were 2 stations that measured a particulate level over the state 24-hour California standard of 50 µg/m3 during the year. The highest value for 2006 (55 µg/m3) was recorded on June 15th at the Vandenberg Air Force Base station.  There was also one station that measured a particulate level over the state California state annual arithmetic mean standard of 20 µg/m3 for the year. The Santa Maria station annual arithmetic mean value for 2006 was 22 µg/m3.

Table 9 provides the 2006 particulate summary for PM2.5. There were no samples over any California or federal standard.


New in 2006

September 2006

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened the 24-hour fine particle standard from the 1997 level of 65 micrograms per cubic meter (?g/m3) to 35?g/m3, and retains the current annual fine particle standard at 15?g/m3. EPA also is retaining the existing national 24-hour PM10 standard of 150?g/m3.

EPA revoked the annual PM10 standard, because available evidence generally does not suggest a link between long-term exposure to current levels of coarse particles and health problems. EPA is protecting all Americans from effects of short-term exposure to inhalable coarse particles by retaining the existing daily PM10 standard of 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

May 2006

The California 8-Hour Ozone standard of 0.070 PPM became effective.

Monitoring station changes in 2006:

In August of 2006 CARB stopped monitoring NO2 and CO at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria monitoring stations.  Sampling for PM10 using the 24 hour quartz filter method was discontinued at the CARB Santa Barbara station in 2006.