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AQMD Measures to Reduce 76 Tons per Day of Oxides of Nitrogen- Trucks, Locomotives, Heavy Equipment, Restaurants

ARB estimates that PM2.5 pollution in the Southland is responsible for as many as 5,000 premature deaths per year.

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September 21, 2007 -- State and Southland air quality officials have announced an historic agreement to reduce pollution from diesel trucks, commuter trains, construction equipment and the ports to meet a federal health-based clean air deadline in 2015.

“"This agreement signals the dawn of a new day in cooperation between state and local air quality agencies that will result in cleaner air,"” said Mary Nichols, chairman of the state Air Resources Board.

“Two of the most innovative air quality agencies in the world have joined forces to mount some of the most aggressive measures ever proposed in order to address the Southland’s air quality needs,” said Roy Wilson, Governing Board Vice Chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

The two agencies, along with leaders of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), have reached agreement on measures to reduce 76 tons per day of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a building block to fine particulate pollution. The reductions are essential to meet the federal government’s 2015 deadline for achieving the health-based standard for fine particulates, known as PM2.5.

“This will provide a rapid response to the many adverse health impacts caused by today’s level of air pollution,” said Gary Ovitt, president of SCAG’s Regional Council and an AQMD Governing Board Member.

The pollution cuts will be achieved by stringent mandatory regulations as well as incentive programs. The agreement calls upon federal, state and local governments to do their part in cleaning the Southland’s air.

The programs will include:

  • ARB strengthening its control measures by requiring a comprehensive modernization of private and port heavy-duty truck fleets in the region. The measures will reduce 27 tons per day of NOx by 2014, equivalent to replacing all pre-2006 trucks with those meeting stringent 2007 standards; •
  • The region asking the federal government to reduce locomotive emissions prior to 2014 or provide funding for California air quality officials to achieve equivalent reductions. This item calls for NOx emission reductions by 10 tons per day; •
  • An AQMD measure to control pollution from commercial charbroilers and wood burning to reduce particulate pollution by an amount equivalent to 11 tons per day of NOx; •
  • The region requesting local governments to dedicate about 40 percent of vehicle registration fees they receive for air pollution-related programs – about $10 million per year – specifically to reduce pollution from heavy-duty trucks and other equipment. It would reduce NOx emissions by about 4 tons per day; •
  • ARB and AQMD seeking $50 million in additional incentive funds to retrofit Metrolink commuter locomotives with pollution control devices and to further reduce emissions from port-related and other mobile sources. It would reduce NOx emissions by 6 tons per day; •
  • AQMD achieving an additional 12 tons per day of NOx reductions by opting in to a more stringent version of a statewide ARB rule reducing pollution from construction and other off-road equipment; •
  • ARB achieving 3 tons per day of NOx reductions from measures principally designed to reduce greenhouse gases under AB 32; and •
  • AQMD recognizing an additional 3 tons per day of NOx reductions from funded Carl Moyer projects.
ARB’s Board will meet on September 27 at AQMD headquarters in Diamond Bar to consider approving the new measures as part of AQMD’s 2007 Air Quality Management Plan and ARB’s State Implementation Plan.

The Southland has the worst PM2.5 air pollution in the country. The pollution is comprised of microscopic particles at least 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair – some so small they pass from lung tissue directly into the human bloodstream and circulate throughout organs in the body. ARB estimates that PM2.5 pollution in the Southland is responsible for as many as 5,000 premature deaths per year.

The measures agreed on this month by the agencies’ staffs provide the missing piece of the puzzle in an overall plan to meet the federal PM2.5 standard by 2015. The federal government requires that reductions be in place by 2014.

  • Regulations already adopted will reduce NOx emissions from about 1,000 tons per day today to 654 tons per day in 2014.
  • AQMD’s 2007 Air Quality Management Plan calls for a further 200 ton-per-day reduction to a final level of 454 tons per day in 2014.
  • Until this month, air quality officials could only identify about 137 of the 200 tons of needed emission reductions.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The Air Resources Board is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| air quality | aqmd | CARB | compliance | emissions | incentives |


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