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newsrel -- ARB approves Valley particulate matter plan

Posted: 22 May 2008 12:37:27
Please consider the following Air Resources Board press release
announcing today's action to adopt the San Joaquin Valley plan
to reduce air pollution.  You can review the release here:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr052208b.htm .
Thank You
Dimitri Stanich

Release 08-48
May 22, 2008
Leo Kay
(916) 849-9843

ARB approves Valley particulate matter plan

State adds several contingency measures to make sure health
standards are met

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board today approved a
particulate matter pollution control plan for the San Joaquin
Valley that will meet federal health standards by the 2014

Though the proposed plan had met all legal and technical
requirements under the federal Clean Air Act, the Board directed
the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to add a
number of contingency measures today to strengthen its
regulations on fireplaces, boilers, and industrial engines.

Local measures such as a strong residential wood smoke rule and
one of the state's toughest regulations on boilers and glass
furnaces will combine with ARB's recently passed off-road
construction rule and the upcoming proposed truck regulation to
allow the Valley to meet federal fine particulate matter
standards by 2014. Parts of the Valley already comply with the
particulate matter standard, with southern regions suffering
from the worst air quality.

"The combined efforts of ARB and the local air district continue
to lower soot levels in the Valley every year but we still need
to go further," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "By adding a few
important safeguards, we are approving a solid plan that will
help all Valley residents breathe easier."

Concentrations of fine particulate matter have decreased 45
percent in the San Joaquin Valley regions since 1999, when
official year-round reporting began. The plan approved today
reduces fine particulate matter exposure by lowering oxides of
nitrogen emissions by almost 50 percent and fine particulate
matter emissions by over 25 percent from 2005 levels. The plan
is based on the $27 million "California Regional Particulate
Matter Study," which provides the strongest scientific
foundation in the nation for a particulate matter plan.

Today's plan approval marks another important development in
cleaning up the Valley's air over the past year. Since Nichols
joined the Board in July, ARB has:

    * Passed the country's first regulation focused on cleaning
up diesel emissions from off-road construction equipment;
    * Directed her staff to craft a strong, legally defensible
proposed regulation, that, if passed by the Board in October,
will slash diesel pollution from hundreds of thousands of trucks
currently transiting California roadways;
    * Allocated $55 million in Proposition 1B monies to fund
diesel truck emission reduction measures in the Valley;
    * Helped secure an additional $49 million in AB118 monies
from the legislature to help pay for truck replacements and
retrofits throughout the state;
    * Distributed $10.7 in Carl Moyer funds to retrofit and
replace old high polluting diesel engines in the Valley;
    * Earmarked nearly $50 million in funds to replace 250 old,
dirty Valley school buses and retrofit an additional 1,000 with
particulate filters; and
    * Convened the San Joaquin Valley Task Force - a consortium
of environmental leaders, regulators and business
representatives - to explore additional pollution control
measures for the Valley. 

ARB, the Air District and the United States Environmental
Protection Agency will participate in a technology forum to be
held at University California, Merced on July 9 to explore new
advancements that will be needed to obtain future reductions to
meet the U.S. EPA's new more stringent standard for which a
revised plan will be due in 2012.

Fine particulate matter emissions are associated with causing a
variety of health effects including premature death and a number
of heart and lung diseases.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District approved
the fine particulate matter state implementation plan April 30.

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.


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