Air Board Approves Bay Area Ozone Plan
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – The California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) yesterday approved an amended 1999 clean air plan for the San Francisco Bay area, adding new control measures to achieve federal ozone standards by 2006.
ARB Chairman Alan Lloyd said, "The Board's adoption of the plan is another step in the ongoing process of protecting Bay Area air quality. We were pleased to see more public input into its makeup and the resulting improvements to the original plan presented in July. "
The new plan will cut 271 tons-per-day of smog-forming emissions from the Bay Area's air by 2006. The ARB refused to approve a similar plan on July 26 after testimony by community groups raised concerns about the amount of public comment that went into the original plan's makeup. Since July, Bay Area air quality officials have held six local meetings throughout the region to allow concerned citizens to comment on the plan's development.
As a result of those meetings, Bay Area air quality and transportation officials agreed to add another 26 tons-per-day of hydrocarbon emission reductions, if needed, when the ongoing Central California Ozone Study (CCOS) is completed. Results from that study will provide up-to-date air quality and meteorological data, which can be used by air quality planners to best determine if more pollution control is needed and the best way to achieve added reductions. Bay Area agencies will use the CCOS data to revise their plan in 2004, with a final plan expected by April 15, 2004.
Included in the plan's amendments were the following new measures, to be adopted and implemented by local agencies and are expected to cut ozone-forming emissions in the Bay Area by over 8 tons per day:
- Rules for metal parts coatings and aqueous solvents
- Improved architectural coatings
- Further refinery controls on liquid storage, valves and flares
- Transit improvements to San Francisco Airport and regional express buses
- Expanded freeway service patrol
- Transportation for livable communities and housing incentive program
The plan also contains measures adopted by the ARB, including statewide regulations for clean fuels, passenger vehicles, off-road equipment and heavy-duty trucks, vapor recovery and less polluting consumer products.
On October 24, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments held a joint hearing and approved the revised plan. Air quality plans must be approved at the local level before the ARB will consider them for adoption and forward them to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). ARB adoption of this plan avoided a potential loss of more than $1 billion worth of Bay Area transportation projects. The ARB will now forward the plan to USEPA for its review.