The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically reviews and establishes health-based national air quality standards (also referred to as NAAQS) for ozone, particulates, and other criteria air pollutants guided by the Clean Air Act. The District has adopted several air quality attainment plans over the years that identify measures needed in the Valley to attain EPA’s increasingly stringent NAAQS. The District has implemented these plans and adopted nearly 650 rules that have resulted in significant emissions reductions.
The District’s plans include emissions inventories that identify sources of air pollutants, evaluations for feasibility of implementing potential opportunities to reduce emissions, sophisticated computer modeling to estimate future levels of pollution, and a strategy for how air pollution will be further reduced. District plans also include innovative alternative strategies for accelerating attainment through non-regulatory measures such as incentive programs; technology advancement programs; the District’s legislative platform; community outreach and education programs; and additional strategies such as energy efficiency, eco-driving, green purchasing and contracting, supporting urban heat island mitigation efforts, and encouraging cleaner methods of generating electrical energy and mechanical power.
As a result of the District’s stringent and comprehensive air quality management strategy along with significant investments made by Valley businesses and residents, PM2.5 and ozone levels are now at historically low levels and providing Valley residents with the associated health benefits.