Contents


Air Quality Summary

This annual report provides information on the air quality in Santa Barbara County for 2007.

In 2007, Santa Barbara County met the federal standards for all measured pollutants except for the 8-hour ozone standard and the 24-hour particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) standard.

The Federal 8-hour ozone standard of 0.080 ppm (80 ppb) was exceeded on 4 days. The federal PM10 standard of 150 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded on 2 days.

Santa Barbara County also met the California state standards for all pollutants except for the 1-hour and 8-hour ozone standards and the 24-hour particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) standard.

The state 1-hour ozone standard of 0.09 ppm (90 ppb) was exceeded on 3 days and the state 8-hour ozone standard of  0.070 ppm (70 ppb) was exceeded on 19 days. The California state 24-hour PM10 standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded on 27 days.

The California state annual arithmetic mean PM10 standard of 20 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded on 2 days.

The increase in state exceedances of the particulate matter standard in 2007 were due to a change in data collection methods and an exceptional event. The past number of state PM10 exceedance days since 1998 has averaged 2 days per year.

In 2007, particulate matter sampling at the Santa Barbara monitoring station changed from a once every six day schedule to a real-time (24-hour/day) PM sampler.

IIn October 2007, Santa Barbara county particulate (PM10) monitors (samplers) recorded extremely high values.  These high values were due to dust and ash caused by the Zaca Fire,  a 240,000 acre wildland fire in the inland portion of the county that burned from July through early September, combined with an exceptionally strong wind event in late October.

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


National and State 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 2007.


Air Quality Monitoring Station Status for 2007

In 2007, 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 2007 and the pollutants and parameters measured at each station.


Criteria Pollutant Summary

Table 3 presents the four highest 1-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2007.  The highest hourly ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County in 2007 was 101 parts per billion (ppb). This concentration was recorded at the Paradise Road station on the 17th of March.

In comparison, the highest ozone value recorded in 2006 was 102 ppb, at Carpinteria.

Table 4 lists the four highest 8-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2007.  The highest 8-hour hour ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County was 86 ppb at the Las Flores Canyon 1 (LFC1) station on 23nd of October.  The high value for 2006 was 82 ppb at the Paradise Road station on June 22, 2006.

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 2007.  The highest concentration for this pollutant was 65 ppb.  No state or federal standards were exceeded for NO2 in 2007.

Table 6 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for SO2 for 2007.  The highest concentration for this pollutant was 27 ppb.  No state or federal standards were exceeded for SO2 in 2007.

Table 7 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for CO for 2007.  The highest concentration for this pollutant was 4.6 ppm.  No state or federal standards were exceeded for CO in 2007.

Table 8 provides the 2007 particulate summary for PM10.  Six stations collected PM10 data.  Five of the six stations used a PM10 Hi Volume filter sampler running one day every six days, or 16% of the entire year.  One station (Santa Barbara) changed to a Met One PM10 BAMS, collecting continuous hourly data throughout the year.

There were 3 stations (Santa Barbara, Las Flores Canyon 1, and El Capitan) with measurements over the federal 24-hour standard of 150 µg/m3.  There were 5 stations that measured a particulate level over the state 24-hour California standard of 50 µg/m3 during the year.  The highest value for 2007 (400 µg/m3) was recorded on October 20 th at the Santa Barbara station.   There were also 4 stations that measured a particulate level over the California state annual arithmetic mean standard of 20 µg/m3 for the year.  The Santa Barbara station annual arithmetic mean value was 34 µg/m3, the Santa Maria station annual arithmetic mean value for 2007 was 25 µg/m3, El Capitan was 24 µg/m3, and Las Flores Canyon 1 was 21 µg/m3.

Table 9 provides a more detailed breakdown of the PM10 data for 2007.

Table 10 provides the 2007 particulate summary for PM2.5.  There were no samples over any California or federal standard.


New in 2007

EPA changes to the NAAQS:

In September 2007 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. The Agency also is retaining the existing national 24-hour PM10 standard of 150?g/m3.

The Agency is revoking 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.

Monitoring station changes in 2007:

  1. In September 2007 CARB began monitoring NO2 and CO at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria monitoring stations.
  2. Sampling for PM10 using a Met One PM10 Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) real time sampler began at the Santa Barbara monitoring station in 2007.
  3. Sampling for PM10 using a Met One PM10 Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) real time sampler began at the Santa Maria monitoring station in May 2007.
  4. Sampling for PM2.5 using a Met One PM2.5 Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) real time sampler began at the Lompoc H Street monitoring station in September 2007.