All American Asphalt

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Violation Issued to All American Asphalt in Irvine for Causing a Public Nuisance - January 26, 2022:

Violation Issued to All American Asphalt in Irvine for Causing a Public Nuisance - January 18, 2022:

Violation Issued to All American Asphalt in Irvine for Causing a Public Nuisance - Press Release - January 14, 2022: 

South Coast AQMD Response to the City of Irvine:

  • Letter to Dr. Burke from Irvine City Council - November 17, 2020:  English (PDF)  Mandarin (PDF)

  • South Coast AQMD Staff Response to Irvine City Council Letter - November 24, 2020:   English (PDF)  Mandarin (PDF)


South Coast AQMD has an ongoing investigation concerning the All American Asphalt's (AAA) hot mix asphalt batch plant. The facility is located in the City of Irvine, within a few miles of multiple residential communities. South Coast AQMD’s investigation seeks to address numerous complaints lodged by local residents, who have identified asphalt and burnt rubber-type odors from the facility. There was a noticeable increase in complaints starting in September 2019. Since then, South Coast AQMD has received over 1200 complaints alleging AAA as the source of odors. South Coast AQMD’s enforcement team took immediate action in response to those complaints.

As a result of our efforts, AAA has taken steps to alleviate the impact of odors on the surrounding community, such as making repairs to certain equipment, increasing the use of odorant in the facility’s processes, rerouting trucks carrying asphalt away from residential neighborhoods and requiring those trucks to utilize tarps. Following these changes, the number of public complaints decreased until there was a significant increase in complaints in September 2020. South Coast AQMD recently approved air quality permits for the crumb rubber system/asphalt blending system and the associated asphalt oil heater, electrostatic precipitators, and the carbon adsorption air pollution control equipment, as a proposed long-term solution to the problem. This equipment will help decrease odors from the facility. None of the permit applications recently submitted by AAA seek to increase the facility’s overall asphalt production and/or throughput. South Coast AQMD estimates it will take approximately a month or less to install the equipment. Please note, questions concerning the CEQA analysis conducted by the land use agency when the residential properties were proposed to be constructed, should be directed to the land use agency. 

Following an on-site inspection of the facility in October 2019, South Coast AQMD issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) due to violations of permit requirements. Furthermore, inspectors conducted extensive complaint investigations that led to the issuance of seven NOVs to AAA for public nuisance, with the most recent NOV issued on January 18, 2022. During this time period, the facility has not been found to have exceeded any throughput or emission limits, nor has any subsequent facility inspection identified violations of any permit conditions.

With respect to odor nuisance investigations, inspectors are sent to meet with complainants to verify the odor experienced by the community. It is not a matter of the human nose being more reliable, but rather having an independent person confirm the odor and therefore the complaint. This confirmation is legally required to pursue a public nuisance action. It is a separate process from collecting scientific data, which South Coast AQMD is attempting to do by developing a focused monitoring/sampling plan that is specific to the community. This monitoring/sampling effort originated from concerns raised by local community members, and we look forward to collaborating with the community on the project. Preliminary air sampling efforts have already begun, though there have been some delays caused by the Silverado Fire.

Regarding concerns about facility expansion, based on South Coast AQMD’s information, AAA has not expanded operations since 2016. This facility produces asphaltic concrete and has active permits for existing equipment with South Coast AQMD, which currently limit monthly production and contain conditions to ensure they operate within air quality rules and requirements. South Coast AQMD establishes and enforces regulations that require facilities to meet certain conditions and/or emission limits. The specific requirements are consistent with our authorities and mandates under state law, as well as our overall mission to protect the public from the harmful effects of air pollution

South Coast AQMD takes community concerns very seriously and recognizes that outdoor pollutants can affect indoor air quality. South Coast AQMD has been actively addressing the complaints regarding the AAA facility to address emissions from this facility. Regarding comments from residents about outdoor versus indoor pollution, and the variety of sources of VOCs, there is ample scientific literature that identifies many indoor sources of VOCs, such as paints, furniture and building materials. Some typical indoor VOCs include formaldehyde and benzene. Any measurement of indoor VOCs would likely pick up VOCs from indoor sources.

This investigation is a top priority for South Coast AQMD, and we remain committed to doing everything within our authority to help protect the residents of Irvine. South Coast AQMD recently met with local community members, improved communication with non-English-speaking residents and increased the presence of inspectors in the field. We encourage members of the public who experience air quality issues such as those described above to call the South Coast AQMD complaint hotline at 1-800-CUT SMOG (1-800-288-7664) or to enter an online complaint via our website.

Prior Meetings & Activity

July 27, 2021 – Field Testing Evaluation of the Atmotube Pro Sensor

From March 31 through April 21, 2021, South Coast AQMD tested the performance of six Atmotube Pro sensors (the same type of sensors that were used by the Jun Wu Research Group in Irvine) to see if they accurately respond to total volatile organic compounds (VOC) and accurately measure the ambient concentration of total VOCs. The test was conducted at one of South Coast AQMD’s air monitoring sites in Wilmington, east of a petroleum refinery and west of a major freeway (I-110) – an ideal site for conducting air monitoring of VOCs.

All Atmotube Pro sensors were run side-by-side with a more expensive and reliable “reference” instrument to assess performance. Testing results indicate that VOC concentrations measured by the Atmotube Pro sensors did not correlate with measurements recorded by the “reference” instrument. The sensors overestimated VOC concentrations and reported high levels of VOCs when concentrations were low, suggesting levels measured in the Irvine community were not accurate or precise, and were biased high. The testing results suggest the sensor devices should have been tested and calibrated prior to field deployment. A technical report summarizing South Coast AQMD’s field testing evaluation of the Atmotube Pro sensor can be found here.

March 3, 2021 - 
Virtual Community Meeting

  • Meeting Flyer:  English (PDF)  Mandarin (PDF)

  • Presentation (PDF): "All American Asphalt – Air Sampling Initiative" by Aaron Katzenstein, PhD, Laboratory Manager, South Coast AQMD Monitoring and Analysis Division

  • Presentation (PDF): "City of Irvine Ambient Air Sampling" by Greg Wolffe, Yorke Engineering

  • Presentation (PDF): "Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds in samples collected in the areas surrounding the All American Asphalt facility" by Barbara Barletta, Donald Blake Research Group, Chemistry Department, UCI

  • Presentation (PDF): Low-cost sensor-based PM2.5 and VOC monitoring result in Northwood and Orchard Hills neighborhoods near All American Asphalt, Amirhosein Mousavi, PhD, Jun Wu Research Group, UCI

  • Archived Meeting Video:

December 9, 2020 - Community Meeting

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