Release 07-54
November 15, 2007

    Patricia Rey

ARB calls for more measures to meet Valley ozone standard sooner

SACRAMENTO: The Air Resources Board today approved a staff report endorsing the effectiveness of the San Joaquin Air District's regulatory programs while at the same time making a number of recommendations aimed at reaching the federal ozone deadline by 2017.

Specifically, the Board recommended the following measures:

ARB will now submit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the State Implementation Plan that designates the Valley in "extreme non-attainment" of the eight hour ozone standard, setting a legally enforceable attainment deadline of 2024. The Air Resources Board recently pledged to achieve a 90 percent compliance with the federal ozone standard by 2018; today's recommendations revisit and strengthen that projection.

"We should all praise the hard work and dedication shown by local activists, business members and the air district in trying to fill in this last piece of the puzzle toward cleaning the Valley's air," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Our work will not be done until we attain 100 percent compliance with the federal ozone standard. We'll do our part at the state on trucks and agricultural equipment, and we'll work closely with the district to fast track industrial innovations at the local level."

Today's announcement comes on the heels of the efforts of a San Joaquin Valley Task Force comprised of ARB staff, Board members, community activists, business leaders and air district staff. Through a series of meetings throughout the Valley, the task force was able to identify an additional 78 tons of emissions reductions.

The Air Resources Board is a department 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.