June 3, 2016
Federal and local officials are celebrating as the San Joaquin Valley attained its first ozone standard – albeit one that dates back to the late 1970s and that most of the country achieved by the November 2010 deadline.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced May 4, 2016 that the Valley attained the one-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) according to this report in the Fresno Bee. The finding is based on clean air data between 2012 and 2014.
EPA officials said cleaner air in the Valley is the result of stringent federal and state engine and fuel standards that reduce vehicle pollution. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District also regulates pollution from sources including power plants and refineries.
Kerry Drake, regional deputy director for the EPA in San Francisco, said the achievement is significant because it means the Valley’s air is improving and people will be healthier because of it. However, the region also struggles with high particle pollution, known as PM 2.5, which causes similar health issues.
Federal officials abandoned the one-hour ozone standard in 1997 when they adopted a tougher, eight-hour standard of 80 parts per billion. In 2008, they tightened that standard to 75 ppb and again last year to 70 ppb. The Valley hasn’t achieved any of the eight-hour standards.
Most counties in the nation are expected to achieve the newest standard by 2025. The Valley and South Coast Air Basin have a likely deadline of 2037. South Coast has not attained the one-hour standard.
The Valley and the South Coast – which includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area – have the worst air quality in the United States.
What this means to you
California’s San Joaquin Valley achieved the one-hour ozone standard, its first attainment of a national standard for ozone. However, the Valley hasn’t achieved any of EPA’s eight-hour standards and still struggles with high levels of PM 2.5
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for information on NOX, VOC and Particulate Matter controls for your engines.