The Air District periodically prepares and updates plans in order to attain State and national air quality standards, comply with quality planning requirements, and achieve the goal of healthy air. These plans report on progress in improving air quality and provide a road map to guide the Air District’s future activities. In developing air quality plans, Air District staff employs a variety of methods and information, including:
- Analysis of air quality monitoring data to identify trends and progress in reducing ambient concentrations of air pollutants
- Analysis of emission inventories to identify key emissions sources, and potential emissions reduction opportunities
- Computer modeling to simulate photochemical formation and dispersion of pollutants, and to test emission reduction scenarios
These technical analyses provide the basis for developing emissions reduction strategies to achieve air quality standards. Air quality plans usually define control strategies to reduce air pollutant emissions from industrial facilities, commercial processes, motor vehicles, and other sources. Control strategies are typically implemented through a combination of regulations adopted and enforced by the Air District, grant and incentive programs, public education and outreach, and partnerships with other agencies and stakeholders. Bay Area air quality plans are prepared in cooperation with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).
The Air District has been preparing ozone plans to fulfill State and/or federal requirements since 1982. The most recent Bay Area ozone plan prepared in response to federal air quality planning requirements is the 2001 Ozone Attainment Plan. The most recent State ozone plan is the Bay Area 2010 Clean Air Plan, adopted by the Board of Directors in September 2010. The 2010 Clean Air Plan was developed as a multi-pollutant plan; this plan provides an integrated control strategy to reduce ozone, particulate matter (PM), toxic air contaminants, and greenhouse gases.
To protect public health, the Air District and its partners have been working to reduce emissions and ambient concentrations of particulate matter in the Bay Area. As a result, the Bay Area has made significant progress in reducing PM levels over the past 20 years. See the PM page for information on the health effects of PM and a description of the Air District’s efforts to reduce PM levels in the Bay Area.
To enhance its technical capabilities for purposes of PM planning, the Air District has been performing studies to analyze trends in PM emissions and ambient concentrations, the contribution from different sources of PM emissions, and the meteorological conditions that are conducive to high levels of PM. Information on these studies, including a report entitled Trends in Bay Area Ambient Particulates, can be found on the Research & Modeling Publications page.