South Coast Air Quality Management District
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), formed in 1976, is the air pollution agency responsible mainly for regulating stationary sources of air pollution for most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside County, and all of Orange County. The main office of the SCAQMD is located in the city of Diamond Bar, California.
The area encompassed by the SCAQMD amounts to about 10,750 square miles (27,850 square kilometres) and is the second most populated area in the United States. This area has a severe problem with smog and the SCAQMD has been a leader in the nation's efforts to reduce air pollution emissions.
How the SCAQMD operates
The SCAQMD develops, adopts and implements an Air Quality Management Plan for bringing the area into compliance with the clean air standards established by national and state governmental legislation.
Air quality and permissible air pollutant emission "rules" are promulgated to reduce emissions from various sources, including specific types of equipment, industrial processes, paints, solvents and certain consumer products. Permits are issued to the pertinent industries and businesses to enforce compliance with the air quality and emission rules, and SCAQMD staff conducts periodic inspections to ensure such compliance.
The SCAQMD's rules apply to businesses ranging from large oil refineries and power plants to gasoline (petrol) fueling stations and dry cleaning plants. There are about 30,000 such businesses operating under SCAQMD permits. In general, the SCAQMD is limited to establishing rules for regulating stationary sources. Emission standards for mobile sources (automobiles, trucks, buses, railroads, airplanes and marine vessels) are established the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.
How the SCAQMD is organized
The SCAQMD has a Governing Board of 12 members. Nine of the members are county supervisors and city council members. The remaining three are appointed by California state officials. The chief Executive Officer of the SCAQMD reports to the Governing Board and the following departments report to the Executive Officer:
- Policy advisor
- Public Affairs
- Media Relations
- Human Resources
- Information Management
- Engineering and Compliance
- Planning, Rule Development and Area Sources
- Science and Technology advancement
Air quality monitoring network
The SCAQMD also operates an extensive network of air quality monitoring stations (about 40 stations) and issues daily air quality forecasts. The forecasts are made available to the public through newspapers, television, radio, faxed messages to schools, the SCAQMD's internet website, and a toll-free Smog Update telephone line.
Air quality modeling and air pollution dispersion modeling oversight
The air quality modeling activities of the SCAQMD are one of the functions of the Planning, Rule Development and Area Sources section. That section is also responsible for oversight and commenting upon air pollution dispersion modeling studies performed as part of any environmental impact studies that may be reviewed by or requested by the SCAQMD. The models that may be utilized include:
- California Line Source Dispersion Model (CALINE-4)
- Industrial Source Complex Short Term (ISCST3) Model
- Hotspots Analysis and Reporting Program (HARP)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Air Quality Models
- California Air Resources Board (CARB)'s Air Quality Models
Funding for the SCAQMD
The AQMD utilizes a system of evaluation fees, annual operating fees, emission fees, Hearing Board fees, penalties/ settlements and investments that generate approximately 73% of AQMD’s revenue. The remaining 27% of its revenue is from federal grants, California Air Resources (CARB) subvention funds, and California Clean Air Act Motor Vehicle fees.
- AP 42 Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors
- Environmental remediation
- Hal Bernson, former board member
- California Department of Toxic Substances Control
- Clean Air Act (1990)
- Clean Air Act (1970)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency dispersion models
- NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards)
- NESHAP (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants)
- PHEV Research Center
- Public Smog
- South Coast Air Basin
- Ventura County Air Pollution Control District
- SCAQMD Air Quality Monitoring and Forecast Map
- Monitoring, AQI, Standards & Notification, The South Coast Perspective Joe Cassmassi, Senior Meteorologist, SCAQMD, April 2004
- Beychok, M.R. (2005). Fundamentals Of Stack Gas Dispersion (4th ed.). author-published. ISBN 0-9644588-0-2.
- Air Quality Modeling