State of California
AIR RESOURCES BOARD
Summary of Board Meeting
March 23, 2000
Air Resources Board
|MEMBERS PRESENT:||Hons.||Alan C. Lloyd, Ph.D., Chairman|
|Joseph C. Calhoun, P.E.|
|C. Hugh Friedman|
|William F. Friedman, M.D.|
|Matthew R. McKinnon|
|00-3-1||Public Hearing to Consider Amendments to the Agricultural Burning Guidelines
SUMMARY OF AGENDA ITEM:
Staff proposed amendments to California's existing Agricultural Burning Guidelines (Title 17 CCR, section 80100 et. seq.) which would provide more detailed direction to air districts in the regulation and control of agricultural burning, including prescribed burning. Prescribed burning is a subset of agricultural burning and is the intentional use of fire to meet specific land management objectives (e.g., to reduce flammable vegetative fuels on forest floors). As proposed, the amendments would not change what burning is done, but may change the timing, location, and amounts of vegetative burning that is authorized on any particular day. The proposed amendments place primary emphasis on smoke management through improved planning, collaboration, and consultation between burners and air agencies. They contain three new basic provisions: requirements for a "burn authorization system;" requirements for a "smoke management plan;" and provisions for the use of a "marginal" burn day.
Staff proposed several modifications to the proposed regulation that: (1) withdrew proposed residential burning provisions; (2) provided districts with additional time to address ARB disapproval of district smoke management programs; (3) allow compliance with other federal and State requirements for burn alternatives analyses (i.e., NEPA or CEQA) to satisfy equivalent requirements in the Guidelines; (4) add a "degree of confidence" factor to the 48 hour burn day forecast; (5) revise the burner notification process for naturally-ignited wildfires; and (6) clarify the regulatory language.
The Board heard testimony on the proposed changes to the Guidelines from individuals representing affected air districts and burn agencies, farmers, timber and biomass interests, and environmental groups. The testimony generally supported the staff's proposal, but some witnesses requested program modifications, as summarized below.
Air districts urged the Board to provide assistance in the recovery of program costs. Burners asked the Board to ensure equity in assessment of fees. Districts and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection called for ARB to establish a joint working group to develop a uniform smoke management plan format that would reduce the amount of unnecessary paperwork that burners would need to complete, and districts review. Districts also asked ARB to develop revised meteorological criteria that could be used to refine the decision-making process used in declaring burn days. Both burners and districts encouraged cost-sharing measures among agencies to reduce duplicative program costs. Districts requested ARB assistance in the assessment of environmental impacts needed to comply with the Guidelines. Some districts wanted to conduct their own burn programs without change.
The Board directed staff to work with air districts and the burners, as appropriate, to: (1) seek ways to recover costs and ensure the fee structures are equitable to all burners; (2) strive for uniformity in smoke management plan formats; (3) test and propose appropriate revised meteorological criteria for declaring burn days; (4) investigate ways to share resources to improve efficiencies; (5) assist the districts in assessing environmental impacts; and (6) evaluate appropriate approaches to address residential burning. The Board also directed staff to clarify language concerning exemptions from the daily burn allocation system. The Board requested periodic reports on the fees and other issues related to the implementation of the regulation.
The Board approved the amendments with the modifications proposed by staff. The modifications presented at the hearing, including the modifications to the exemption language, will be made available for public review and comment for 15 days in a Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text. The Executive Officer will consider any comments received during this period prior to adopting the amendments to the Guidelines.
FORMAL BOARD ACTION:
The Board approved Resolution No. 00-8 by a unanimous vote.
RESPONSIBLE DIVISION: PTSD
STAFF REPORT: Yes (63 pages)
|00-3-2||Public Hearing to Consider Amendments to the Vapor Recovery Certification and Test Procedure Regulations for
Enhanced Vapor Recovery
SUMMARY OF AGENDA ITEM:
Staff proposed more stringent standards and new equipment specifications for vapor recovery systems which control vapor emissions during the gasoline transfer from the cargo tank to the service station (Phase I) and the transfer from the service station to the motor vehicle (Phase II). New standards were proposed to reduce spillage and gasoline evaporation from gasoline nozzles, make vapor recovery systems compatible with the on-board vapor recovery systems on motor vehicles, and require monitoring of vapor recovery equipment system operation. The proposed monitoring, known as in-station diagnostics, will identify defects in system operation which lead to excess emissions and alert the station operator so that corrective action can be taken.
The amendments will increase the reliability of system equipment through improvements in the certification process. Substantial system failures were observed during recent joint ARB/district field inspections of in-use vapor recovery systems. The proposal will reduce reactive organic gas emissions by about 25 tons/day statewide, and fulfill the obligations of the settlement agreement for the lawsuit on the 1994 State Implementation Plan for Ozone (SIP) in the South Coast Air Basin.
At this meeting, the staff presented a revised implementation schedule for the proposed amendments to allow two more years for development of Phase II equipment and ARB staff to certify new equipment. An amended schedule for in-station diagnostics will phase-in the new monitoring requirements based on station throughput and will exempt the smallest throughput stations
(< 160,000 gallons/year) and will allow two more years for stations to use their existing Phase II equipment. Additional amendments include an adjustment to the certification criterion to allow for winter fuel testing, specific hazardous air pollutant caps for vapor recovery processors, modifying the unihose requirement as applicable to new stations or dispenser replacement only, and consideration of the balance dispenser as a "non-system-specific" component.
The Board approved the proposed amendments, with the revised implementation schedule. The Board requested that the resolution include a provision to recognize the economic impact of the amendments on small businesses.
FORMAL BOARD ACTION:
Approved Resolution 00-9 by an unanimous vote
RESPONSIBLE DIVISION: MLD
STAFF REPORT: Yes (750 pages)
|00-3-3||Public Meeting to Consider Area Designation Recommendations for the New Federal Eight-Hour Ozone Standard|
SUMMARY OF AGENDA ITEM:
Staff presented recommended area designations and boundaries for the federal eight-hour ozone standard. Area designations refer to the formal identification of regions that violate the ozone standard (nonattainment areas), regions that meet the standard (attainment areas), and regions that cannot be categorized as meeting or not meeting the standard on the basis of available monitoring data (unclassifiable). Staff developed the recommendations based on the most recent available air quality data for 1997 through 1999. The Board approved the recommendations and directed staff to submit them to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency once complete data for the 1999 ozone season are available.
At the meeting, the National Park Service requested that all of Joshua Tree National Park (located in Eastern Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) be included in a nonattainment area