CARB approves new approach to measuring stationary source emissions to aid local air pollution inventory efforts
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board recently approved significant changes to the requirements for reporting emissions from stationary sources to help communities assess air pollution at a local level. The improvements to the emission inventory will help with prioritizing efforts to further reduce emissions of pollutants that cause smog as well as toxic air pollutants in communities.
Once fully implemented, the amendments aim to create a unified reporting mechanism resulting in the most comprehensive emissions inventory programs in the nation. They also established expanded and consistent reporting applicability criteria that determines which facilities need to report their emissions data.
“Emission inventories are the foundation of all CARB programs and a fundamental tool for understanding the sources that contribute to California’s air quality and climate challenges, especially in lower income communities of color which bear a disproportionate burden of exposure to toxic air contaminants,” Board Member John Balmes said. “The new toxics emissions inventory will increase the number of reportable emission-producing chemicals from approximately 450 to more than 1,300, over a phase-in period. The improved inventory will provide the evidence needed to focus policies on reducing hot spots of toxic emissions.”
Chemicals included in the first implementation phase were chosen based on the availability of health values, toxicity and carcinogenic risk. The amendments are designed to support emissions reduction tracking, trend assessment and help identify additional pollution sources. In addition, the amendments include provisions that allow the public to report information about potential sources, an important tool for ground-truthing emission reduction efforts.
“The amendments are key to reducing pollution in the most impacted communities and provide essential ‘right to know’ information to all residents. The additional data gained will support implementing emissions reduction plans that will significantly improve air quality,” Board Member Diane Takvorian said.
The additional data collected is also required to support multiple state and federal programs, including regional air quality planning, toxics risk reduction and strategies to reduce criteria pollutants. The proposed amendments align the facility emissions reporting requirements contained within two separate regulations to efficiently meet CARB’s current data needs.