State of California

Summary of Board Meeting
May 17, 2001

The Oldtimers Family Center
3355 East Gage
Huntington Park, California

MEMBERS PRESENT: Hons. Alan C. Lloyd, Ph.D., Chairman
    Dr. William A. Burke
    Joseph C. Calhoun, P.E.
    Mark J. DeSaulnier
    C. Hugh Friedman
    William F. Friedman, M.D.
    Matthew R. McKinnon
    Barbara Patrick
    Barbara Riordan

01-4-1 Public Meeting to Consider an Informational Update on Children's Health and Exposure Research


Staff reported on the status of the ARB's research activities to study children's exposure to and health effects from air pollution. These research activities play a major role in the ARB's Community Health Program, Children's Environmental Health Protection Program (SB 25), and the Indoor Air Quality Program. These studies will allow the ARB to more accurately assess children's exposure, their health impacts, and appropriate actions to reduce children's health risks.

Because children are growing and are more active than adults, they are likely to have higher exposures to air pollution and to be more affected by absorption of toxic chemicals. A focus of ARB sponsored research is on the long term environmental health of children in relation to air pollution. The Southern California Children's Health Study of 12 communities began almost a decade ago, and is slated to continue through 2003. Over 5,000 children have been extensively assessed for their exposure to multiple air pollutants and their long term health. Communities with higher levels of particles, nitrogen dioxide, and acid vapors have children whose lungs grow more slowly. When ozone levels are high, asthma is worsened, and more children are absent from school.

Childhood asthma affects over half a million Californian children, and the proportion with the chronic disease is increasing. Asthmatic children are an especially vulnerable group in need of protection from air pollution. The Fresno Asthmatic Children's Environment Study is recruiting 450 asthmatic children aged 6-10 years to assess over the long term what air pollutants are most important in causing worsening of asthma. Hispanic asthmatic adolescents also participated in a small, short-term study in Huntington Park to determine whether local sources of volatile organic compounds were associated with asthma attacks. The results should be available at the end of this year.

Children spend about 25 percent of their weekdays in school, and ARB is sponsoring three projects to determine the air quality in and around schools in an effort to improve students' respiratory health. Three schools, two in Southern California and one in the Bay Area, will be studied extensively for their indoor air quality as part of the Children's Environmental Health Program, for a six-month period when children are present. The air quality in portable classrooms is of high concern and 1,000 schools with portables across the state will be surveyed for health problems. In conjunction with the Department of Health Services, a more comprehensive monitoring of the air quality in both traditional and portable classrooms in a subset of these schools will be completed by the end of next year. Finally the School Bus Exposure Study will investigate the levels of air pollutants inside and around school buses. This study along with the one in Huntington Park are co-sponsored by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Information gathered will allow the Air Resources Board to have a clearer understanding of which pollutants, and at what levels, children are exposed to, and their health consequences. With this information the Air Resources Board will be able to review air pollution standards, and devise strategies to better protect children from harmful effects of airborne pollutants. The results of these studies will be brought back to the communities for explanation and discussion.




01-4-3 Public Meeting on Community Health Programs and the Impacts of California Phase 3 Reformulated Gasoline


Staff presented ARB's initiatives regarding community health and environmental justice (EJ). The overall goal of the Community Health Program is to assess and reduce health risks related to air pollution as quickly as possible. To this end we are developing new modeling, emissions inventory data collection, and monitoring techniques so we can better answer people's questions about air pollution in their communities.

The preliminary concepts for the proposed environmental justice guidelines include: integrating EJ into all ARB programs, strengthening public outreach and education, reducing health risks in communities, strengthening enforcement, and improving the air quality information considered in the land-use decision making process.

Staff also presented an overview of the impacts of California
Phase 3 Reformulated Gasoline (CaRFG3), pursuant to ACR 132. CaRFG3 will result in the phase-out of MTBE as an oxygenate, and will lower sulfur and benzene emissions. Governor Davis has directed that MTBE be eliminated from gasoline because it has been shown to be a threat to ground water, surface water and drinking water supplies. Unless an oxygenate waiver is granted by the U.S. EPA, CaRFG3 will have to contain ethanol. The ARB believes that clean-burning gasoline can be produced without the need for ethanol, saving California consumers $450 million per year. Emissions from refineries will not increase due to CaRFG3, but excess truck trips related to ethanol delivery will increase motor vehicle emissions by 0.07 percent. Staff briefly discussed other refinery issues, such as fenceline monitoring, community alert networks, and a suggested control measure for uniform enforcement of refinery violations.

The Board and staff discussed the status of particulate trap retrofits for diesel trucks, the impacts of not receiving an oxygenate waiver from the U.S. EPA, and the difficulties of reducing emissions from diesel trucks at the ports.


Barry Wallerstein South Coast AQMD
Juan Torres Assemblyman Firebaugh's Office
Gary Merritt Record Transport, Inc.
Steven Stein Unified Western Growers
Bahram Fazelli Communities for a Better Environment