South Coast AQMD Developing the 2016 Air Quality Management Plan - Impacts to the Region’s Businesses
The 2016 Air Quality Management Plan being developed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District has the potential to affect almost every business in the South Coast area.
Dozens of specific strategies are being proposed and although cost-effectiveness is being taken into account, the strategies could still be costly and disruptive for many of our clients while others may find new revenue opportunities with the development and sales of advanced control technologies. The prior plan, the 2012 AQMD, estimated the cost to industries in the region would be nearly $500 million and this new plan could push that even higher. Alta Environmental is closely tracking these new proposals and attending advisory group meetings. Over the next few months in our newsletter, we will discuss some of these specific strategies, explain what technologies or rule changes are being proposed, and provide our thoughts on how they might affect you and your business – so you stay informed.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District in partnership with the California Air Resources Board, Southern California Association of Governors, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun the process of developing the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for 2016. The 2016 plan will supersede the previous AQMP implemented in 2012. The federal government has mandated reduction levels for air pollutants that must be attained by 2023, 2032, and 2050 under the Clean Air Act. The standards that must be attained include reduced levels for criteria pollutants as well as green-house gasses. The district has resolved that zero and near-zero emissions technologies must be implemented to achieve these air quality attainment goals. The AQMP is the means by which the district hopes to come into compliance with state and federal requirements for clean air.
The 2016 AQMP focuses on the goal of reducing particulate matter and ground-level ozone - the primary component of smog - by implementing the latest emission reduction technologies and socioeconomically sound compliance strategies. The district and its AQMP advisory board is targeting NOx, VOC, and PM2.5 emissions from every sector including stationary sources or mobile sources whether on-road, off-road, or ocean-going and from every industry that emits these criteria pollutants from asphalt plants and refineries to restaurants and wineries. There are even some proposals that will effect residential emissions. The AQMP looks at the amount of pollution generated by each industry sector and the potential reductions possible, makes recommendations for possible new emission-reduction technologies, and proposes new and altered regulations to implement these strategies. The advisory board recognizes that criteria pollutants often go hand-in-hand with greenhouse gasses and will be looking particularly for projects that will have the most impact and benefit by reducing both.
In next month’s issue, we will dive more deeply into potential and proposed strategies and the impacts to and opportunities for businesses.
This blog post is authored by Kimba Spencer.