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Santa Barbara County attains State Ozone Standard

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District
The Santa Barbara office building for the Air Pollution Control District.
Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) announced that Santa Barbara County has attained the state ozone standard from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on Thursday.

This is the first time Santa Barbara County has achieved this standard, the County is now one of only approximately 14 counties in the state to reach this milestone.

The APCD was formed almost 50 years ago. During that time, the County faced many air quality challenges and violations of ozone standards.

APCD staff partnered with Santa Barbara County residents, businesses, APCD Board of Directors, APCD Community Advisory Council, APCD Hearing Board and state and federal agencies have worked to improves local air quality over time.

In a statement about the attainment of the standard, the director of APCD gave the following statement:

“It is a monumental day for Santa Barbara County. On behalf of APCD and the many individuals who have worked for and with the agency over the last 50 years, I want to thank all of the public and private partners whose actions big and small over the five decades have led us to the success we see today. We look forward to continuing our mission to protect the people and environment of Santa Barbara County from the effects of air pollution.”

APCD Director, Aeron Arlin Genet

Ozone, or commonly known as smog, forms when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of heat and sunlight.

Both nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds come from transportation and industrial sources, volatile organic compounds also come from solvents and gasoline.

Official say that human health benefits from reduced ozone concentrations as ozone can harm the respiratory system in a variety of ways, including reduced lung function and worsened asthma symptoms.

The efforts that have contributed to improved ozone levels in Santa Barbara County over time include:

  • APCD rules and regulations for stationary sources regarding emission-control technologies.
  • APCD incentive programs for non-stationary sources outside of APCD’s regulatory jurisdiction, such as marine shipping and older cars. 
  • Leadership and measures from the State of California regarding mobile sources and consumer products.
  • Cleaner passenger vehicles and trucks. 
  • Local efforts to promote alternative transportation options. 

The State Office of Administrative Law will be reviewing the CARB's proposal and is expected to finalize the decision in 2020.

For more information click here.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Julia Nguyen


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