|Oct 12, 2012
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will initiate
rulemaking to ensure potential air quality impacts are minimized from oil
and gas production activities using hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as
“Fracking has become commonplace in oil and gas production,” said William
A. Burke, Ed.D., AQMD’s Governing Board Chairman. “We need to ensure
that any potential air quality impacts are minimized.”
AQMD’s Board on Oct. 5 directed staff to initiate rulemaking to address
potential air quality impacts from hydraulic fracturing. Rulemaking
may include requirements for reporting of chemicals used in the fracking
process. In addition, staff will review existing AQMD rules to determine if
they are adequate to minimize air quality impacts from fracking, and
evaluate advanced technologies available to control emissions from fracking
The increasing use of fracking has led to various environmental concerns.
Given these concerns, AQMD hosted a technology symposium on Sept. 18 to
further understand the use of fracking in California and particularly in the
South Coast Air Basin.
Topics covered at the one-day symposium included air quality and
greenhouse gas impacts, fugitive emissions, chemicals used and potential
toxicity, water impacts, and seismic risk from hydraulic fracturing. View
the online report “Hydraulic
Fracturing in the South Coast Air Basin” Technology Symposium and
Recommendations for Future Actions for a summary of the symposium
The new rulemaking will address comments and input received at the
symposium. A report on the progress of rulemaking activities will be
provided to AQMD’s Stationary Source Committee early next year.
Also on Oct. 5, AQMD awarded millions to help clean up older diesel
vehicles, and develop and demonstrate zero-emission truck technologies.
AQMD approved $21 million to help fund 67 projects to replace or retrofit
287 older diesel trucks, marine vessels, buses and construction equipment
with new, cleaner technology.
The $21 million comes from the state’s Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality
Standards Attainment Program, which provides competitive grant funding to
cover the cost difference between new heavy-duty diesel engines and
alternative, clean fuel or lower-emission engines. Since 1998, AQMD
has awarded more than $298 million in Carl Moyer funding to help clean up
8,000 diesel engines in the region.
The 67 projects will reduce 209.5 tons per year of smog-forming nitrogen
oxide (NOx) emissions and 6.9 tons per year of particulate matter (PM)
AQMD also awarded $4.1 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) to
four local truck manufacturers to develop and demonstrate four zero-emission
drayage truck technologies to help reduce diesel emissions from goods
movement activities. Drayage trucks haul cargo containers short distances,
typically from the ports to nearby rail centers or warehouses.
The four projects will include three types of battery-electric truck
projects to be demonstrated by Balqon in Harbor City, TransPower in Poway
and U.S. Hybrid in Torrance, and one fuel cell hybrid truck project at
Vision Industries in Gardena. A total of 13 trucks will be developed.
The three-year project will include one year for development and two years
of technology field demonstration.
Collectively, heavy-duty diesel trucks operating in the Southland emit
more than 181 tons of NOx and 5 tons of diesel PM per day. According
to AQMD’s third Multiple Air Toxics Emission Study (MATES III), diesel
trucks account for a significant portion of the area’s cancer risk,
particularly impacting those living in communities surrounding area ports.
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major
portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.