Summer Ozone Season Begins


CONTACT: Doug Allard, 805.961.8853 Duane Sikorski, 805.961.8871

GOLETA, CA ? Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) announced the APCD monitoring station at Paradise Road recorded amounts of ground-level ozone higher than state and federal health-based standards last week. Ground-level ozone damages human lung tissue, manufactured materials, and crops.

The Paradise Road station recorded ozone levels higher than the state standard on July 16, 17, 18 and 19, and higher than the new federal eight-hour standard on July 17 and 18. The monitoring station at Santa Ynez also exceeded the state standard on July 18, and ozone levels were elevated at several other county monitoring stations. Santa Barbara County is officially classified as a “serious” ozone nonattainment area by the federal Environmental Protection Agency; exceedances of ozone standards affect requirements for APCD?s planning and regulations.

“With hot weather, we can expect more days with high levels of ozone,” said APCD Director Doug Allard. He explained that ground-level ozone is created when two pollutants, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, react chemically in the presence of sunlight. Nitrogen oxides are produced by engines (including car and truck engines); hydrocarbons are produced by motor vehicles, solvents, and the petroleum industry.

Ozone levels are typically highest in afternoons during the summer. Federal and state ozone standards were also exceeded at a number of monitoring stations, including the Paradise Road station, earlier this year, during a period of hot weather April 21-22. Said Allard, “On hot days like these we should all drive less, and do whatever we can to spare the air.”


July 18 Maximum Ozone Levels (State and Federal One-Hour Standards)

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July 18 Maximum Ozone Levels (Federal Eight-Hour Standard)

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