Contents


Air Quality Summary

This annual report provides information on the air quality in Santa Barbara County in 2008.

In 2008, Santa Barbara County met the federal standards for all measured pollutants except for the 8-hour ozone standard. The 8-hour ozone standard of 0.080 ppm (80 ppb) was exceeded on 4 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 standard for particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10).  The state 1-hour ozone standard of 0.09 ppm (90 ppb) was exceeded on 4 days and the state 8-hour ozone standard of  0.070 ppm (70 ppb) was exceeded on 12 days. The state 24-hour PM10 standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded on 66 days. The California state arithmetic mean PM10 standard of 20 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was exceeded at 5 of the 6 stations collecting PM10 data.

The large increase in the number exceedances of the state particulate matter standard in 2008 were due to a change in data collection methods.  The past number of state PM10 exceedance days since 1998 has averaged 2 days per year. In 2008, PM10  sampling at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria monitoring stations changed from a once every six day schedule to hourly samples provided by PM monitors throughout the year.

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, known as criteria air pollutants, for which public health criteria have been established. The primary standards are established to  protect the health of the most susceptible individuals in a population, including children, seniors, and people with respiratory conditions, including asthma, or heart conditions. Secondary standards are also established to protect human welfare (visibility, crop damage, building damage).

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

In addition to the EPA standards, the California Air Resources Board 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 2008.


Air Quality Monitoring Station Status for 2008

In 2008, there were 17 monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County, of which eight were operated by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District . The remaining stations were operated by the California Air Resources Board, and private industry.  Table 2 lists the monitoring stations operating in Santa Barbara County during 2008 and the pollutants and parameters measured at each station.

Criteria Pollutant Summary

Table 3 presents the four highest 1-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2008.  The highest hourly ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County in 2008 was 101 parts per billion (ppb). This concentration was recorded at the Carpinteria station on the 21st of June.

In comparison, the highest ozone value recorded in 2007 was also 101 ppb, at the Paradise Road station.

Table 4 lists the four highest 8-hour ozone concentrations measured during 2008.  The highest 8-hour hour ozone concentration recorded in Santa Barbara County was 86 ppb, also at the Carpinteria station on 21st of June.  The high value for 2007 was 86 ppb at the Las Flores Canyon 1 (LFC1) station.

Figure 2 shows ozone exceedance days above the state and federal standards for 1988 through 2008.

Table 5 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for NO2 for 2008.  The highest concentration for this pollutant was 73 ppb.  No state or federal standards were exceeded for NO2 in 2008.

Table 6 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for SO2 for 2008.  The highest concentration for this pollutant was 12 ppb.  No state or federal standards were exceeded for SO2 in 2008.

Table 7 shows the four highest 1-hour concentrations for CO for 2008.  The highest concentration for this pollutant was 5.2 ppm.  No state or federal standards were exceeded for CO in 2008.

 Particulate Matter Monitoring

The district is currently going through a transition in the way we collect particulate matter (PM2.5  and PM10). In the past, one sample was collected over a 24 hour period every sixth day (one in six day collection). We are now using a new generation of samplers that can collect and analyze the sample every hour on a continuous basis.  The old method provides approximately 60 sample days each year.  We now have 365 daily samples each year, giving a better idea of our true air quality.  This large increase in sampling time also increases the probability of recording air quality over state or federal standards.

Six stations collected PM10 data.  Four of the six stations used a PM10 Hi Volume filter sampler running one day every six days, or 16% of the entire year.  Two stations (Santa Barbara and Santa Maria) changed to a Met One  PM10 BAMS, collecting continuous hourly data throughout the year.

There were no stations (Santa Barbara, Las Flores Canyon 1, and El Capitan) in 2008 with measurements over the federal 24-hour PM10 standard of 150 µg/m3.  There were 4 stations that measured a particulate level over the state 24-hour California PM10 standard of 50 µg/m3 during the year.  The highest value for 2008 (109 µg/m3) for PM10 was recorded on October 10th at the Santa Barbara station.   There were also 5 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 36 µg/m3, the Santa Maria station annual arithmetic mean value for 2008 was 33 µg/m3, El Capitan was 22 µg/m3, and Las Flores Canyon 1 was 18 µg/m3 and Vandenberg measured 21 µg/m3.

PM2.5 BAMS data are collected for the near real time (hourly averages) reporting air quality information to the public.

The following Tables identify the particulate monitoring for 2008.

Table 8 provides a summary of particulate monitoring by type and location.

Tables 9 through 13 provide information on particulate matter concentrations by collection method.

Table 9 shows PM10 information for 1 in 6 day sampling to Federal standards

Table 10 shows PM10 information for 1 in 6 day sampling to state standards

Table 11 shows PM10 information for continuous sampling to state standards

Table 12 shows PM2.5 information for 1 in 6 day sampling to Federal standards

Table 13 shows PM2.5 information for continuous sampling


New in 2008

EPA changes to the NAAQS:

September 2008

EPA strengthened the 24-hour PM2.5 (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.

A new state standard for NO2 became effective on March 20, 2008.  The 1 hour standard of 0.25 ppm was lowered to 0.18 ppm.  And, a new annual average standard of 0.030 ppm was also established.

Monitoring station changes in 2008:

  • In September of 2008 CARB began monitoring NO2 and CO at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria monitoring stations.
  • A complete year of sampling for PM10 using a Met One PM10 Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) real time sampler began at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria monitoring stations in 2008.
  • Sampling for PM10 using a Met One PM10 Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) real time sampler began at the Santa Maria monitoring station in May 2008.
  • 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 2008.