Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP)

The Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP or Plan) is a regional blueprint for achieving air quality standards and healthful air. The most recent 2016 AQMP represents a comprehensive analysis of emissions, meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, regional growth projections, and the impact of existing control measures.

The 2016 AQMP seeks to achieve multiple goals in partnership with other entities promoting reductions in criteria pollutant, greenhouse gases, and toxic risk, as well as efficiencies in energy use, transportation, and goods movement.  The most effective way to reduce air pollution impacts on the health of our nearly 17 million residents, including those in disproportionally impacted and environmental justice communities that are concentrated along our transportation corridors and goods movement facilities, is to reduce emissions from mobile sources, the principal contributor to our air quality challenges.  For that reason, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) worked closely engaged with the California Air Resources (CARB) and the U.S. EPA who have primary responsibility for these sources.  The Plan recognized the critical importance of working with other agencies to develop new regulations, as well as secure funding and other incentives that encourage the accelerated transition of vehicles, buildings, and industrial facilities to cleaner technologies in a manner that benefits not only air quality, but also local businesses and the regional economy.  These “win-win” scenarios will be key to implementation of this Plan with broad support from a wide range of stakeholders.  The 2016 AQMP also includes transportation control measures developed by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) from the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/ Sustainable Communities Strategy.

The 2016 AQMP includes the integrated strategies and measures needed to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).  South Coast AQMD recently approved on March 3, 2017 the 2016 AQMP that demonstrates attainment of the 1-hr and 8-hr ozone NAAQS as well as the latest 24-hr and annual PM2.5 standards. 

Previous AQMPs included the 2012 AQMP for the 24-hr PM2.5 standard along with early action measures to meet the 8-hr ozone standard.  The 2012 AQMP and other previous Plans can be found under Plan Archive

U.S. EPA designates areas throughout the country as attainment or nonattainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and establishes classifications for the nonattainment areas that dictates statutory attainment dates and requirements pursuant to the Clean Air Act.  On February 3, 2017 the U.S. EPA made a finding of failure to submit SIP for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS including a nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) certification for the South Coast Air Basin and Coachella Valley.  The action would not change the existing South Coast AQMD NSR program or requirements for affected facilities.   The following Nonattainment NSR Compliance Demonstration was completed and will be considered for certification by the South Coast AQMD Governing Board at their June meeting.

On April 14, 2016, EPA issued a final rule on the SIP revisions (2012 AQMP & 2015 Supplement) for the 2006 PM2.5 standard in the South Coast Air Basin PM2.5 nonattainment area to disapprove the RACM/RACT and Reasonable Further Progress elements of the SIP revisions indicating that the 2010 RECLAIM program does not meet the RACM/RACT requirement for certain sources of emissions.   On November 3, 2016, EPA proposed to approve the 2016 AQMP RACT SIP for the 2008 ozone standard, with the exception of major NOX sources in the South Coast, as satisfying the RACT requirements of CAA. To correct these deficiencies, the State must submit supplemental information to EPA that the NOx RECLAIM program, either as adopted in 2010 or as subsequently amended, ensures emissions reductions equivalent, in the aggregate, to the reductions anticipated from the direct application of RACT on covered sources.   The following Supplemental RACM/RACT Analysis was completed to demonstrate that the NOx RECLAIM program meets RACT requirements, and will be considered for approval by the South Coast AQMD Governing Board at their July meeting.

The South Coast AQMD has updated the attainment demonstration of the federal 1979 1-hour ozone standard that was presented in the 2016 AQMP. The emissions inventory in the updated attainment demonstration is based on the final emissions inventory in the 2016 AQMP in order to be consistent with the attainment demonstrations of the 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 standards. The updated attainment demonstration also includes revised air quality modeling and an updated attainment strategy for meeting the 1-hour ozone standard. The updated attainment strategy relies only on South Coast AQMD’s proposed control measures in the 2016 AQMP, based on the expectation that progress in emission reductions targeted toward attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard by 2023 will ensure attainment of the 1-hour ozone standard by 2022. As such, emission reductions from California Air Resources Board’s State Implementation Plan strategies, including 182(e)5 measures (“black box” measures) are no longer needed to attain the 1-hour standard. The updated attainment strategy successfully demonstrates attainment of the 1-hour ozone standard by 2022.

The Coachella Valley is currently classified as Severe nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard and is required to demonstrate attainment by June 15, 2019. Despite air quality improvements in recent years, higher ozone levels were experienced throughput California including in Coachella Valley in 2017 and 2018, resulting in levels greater than the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. Ozone levels in the Coachella Valley are primarily impacted by pollutants directly transported from the South Coast Air Basin. Because of the recent high ozone levels, the Coachella Valley will not be able to meet the 1997 8-hour ozone standard by June 2019. Given that additional time is needed to bring the Coachella Valley into attainment of the 1997 8-hour standard, staff is recommending to submit a formal request to U.S. EPA to reclassify the Coachella Valley from Severe to Extreme for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard based on the monitoring data indicating attainment is not practicable by the current attainment date. The South Coast AQMD has scheduled two public consultation meetings for the purpose of soliciting information, comments, and suggestions from the public, affected businesses, and stakeholders regarding this voluntary reclassification request. The South Coast AQMD Governing Board will consider approval of the reclassification request for Coachella Valley on June 7, 2019. The following resources are available:

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Sang-Mi Lee
(909) 396-3169
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South Coast Air Quality Management District

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