|Another Air District Tells CARB to Back-off|
|CARB Updates & News|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 10:35|
Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District tells CARB to - “Back-Off”
In a letter dated July 5, 2012 (received 7-12-12) and sent to various top-ranking individuals at CARB, the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (GBUAPCD) Board asked CARB to reconsider its diesel rules and the adverse financial effect on small-businesses and government agencies all for no meaningful improvement in district air quality. The letter, signed by Theodore Schade, Air Pollution Control Officer for the district stated, “Diesel emissions are not a meaningful component of the air quality problems we face.” Diesel emissions account for less than 5% of the total PM2.5 inventory in California that CARB is controlling through draconian regulations focused at diesel truck and equipment owners.
The letter to CARB further states, “Because of the District’s rural character and the lack of significant diesel emissions air pollution, the Governing Board is concerned about the impacts of the Truck and Bus Regulation on the economic viability of our small businesses and government agencies. The current poor financial conditions, which have hit our tourist-based economies especially hard, will make it difficult or impossible for many District businesses and all government agencies to comply with the regulation.” (Read Attached).
CCTA member, Jeff Hansen, responded to the District’s letter with his own thoughtful letter (Read Attached) expressing both his frustration and having to replace perfectly good equipment with new equipment and the financial hardship placed on his business. In an era of run-away and unaccountable government agencies, it is truly “refreshing” to see an air pollution control district that understands “one-size-fits-all” mandates from Sacramento or Washington make no rational environmental or economic sense.
The GBUAPCD is made up of Alpine, Mono, and Inyo counties and the Town of Mammoth Lakes (which recently filed for bankruptcy). In geographical size and diversity the district is larger than the 9 smallest states, has the highest and lowest elevations and extreme temperatures in the State of California (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and is home to only 40,000 people. The greatest challenge to air quality faced by the district is mostly natural and man-made occurring wind-blown dust (PM10), much of it from drained Owens Lake and dried up Mono Lake. Ironically, the city of LA (which is responsible for draining these lakes has already spent close to a billion dollars trying to stop the lake bed dust, but it has still not stopped the particulate matter problem. Owens Valley has never achieved the 24-hour dust-control standard mandated by the federal Clean Air Act. Some days the readings are over 10,000 micro grams per cubic meter of air and EPA & CARB want to actually lower the PM2.5 standard to 12-13ug/m3.
To learn more about this area and situation, read this article. http://places.designobserver.com/feature/dreams-dust-and-birds-the-trashing-of-owens-lake/23328/
CARB’s regulatory insistence of controlling PM of any size in an area like this is just another example of how the agency cannot see the “forest for the trees”. CARB continues to be an enemy of this state in every possible way. This letter from the Great Basin Air Board proves that even those within the clean air community are finally seeing through the propaganda haze – we just hope it is not too late as Mr. Hanson suggests in his letter.