Function and Responsibilities
The Air Quality Management District (AQMD) endeavors to manage and enhance the air quality resources of Shasta County through a balanced program of environmental oversight and protection of public health. The AQMD functions as a professional staff to the Air Pollution Control Board regarding rule development and potential industrial and commercial development. It processes commercial and industrial applications to construct emission devices and issues Permits to Operate which are renewed on an annual basis. The AQMD estimates releases of air contaminants and maintains an emission inventory to track emissions of all permitted devices. It proposes mitigation strategies working cooperatively with affected emission sources, evaluates potential health risks, and adopts air pollution control measures and regulations that seek to attain federal and state ambient air quality standards.
The AQMD operates monitoring devices to obtain information regarding concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) and ozone air pollutants that may have an impact on the health of the general public or may damage vegetation and other materials. It issues open burning permits for agricultural, forest management, land clearing, and hazard reduction burning projects.
A public outreach effort has been established to encourage all citizens to be sensitive to air quality concerns and to find methods to reduce motor vehicle and wood-stove emissions.
The AQMD assists in the administration of the Integrated Land Use/Air Quality Program (ILU/AQP) which addresses the development of strategies and mitigation measures to address air quality impacts created by emissions from indirect and/or mobile sources. This program is supported in part by funds generated by the AB2766 Motor Vehicle Surcharge Funding Program. Fees from this program must be used exclusively by local Air Pollution Control Boards to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles and for related planning, monitoring, enforcement, and technical studies necessary for the implementation of the California Clean Air Act of 1988.
The Air Pollution Control Board
The Air Pollution Control Board (APCB) is the governing Board of the District. Currently, the Board of Supervisors is the ex-officio Board of the APCB. City council members may also serve on the Board. The APCB adopts rules and regulations to achieve and maintain the state and federal ambient air quality standards.
The Air Quality Management District Hearing Board
The Air Quality Management District Hearing Board is a five-member Board appointed by and separate from the APCB. Statute provides that the Board must consist of one attorney, one medical professional, one professional engineer, and two members of the public. The Board is the sole body in the District which may grant a variance from District rules or permit conditions and may issue abatement orders when an emission source has been recalcitrant in complying with District rules or permit conditions.
The District Staff
The District staff conducts ambient air monitoring, responds to complaints, performs inspections, issues and enforces permits, performs emission tests, enforces open burning regulations, performs screening health risk assessments for toxic air emissions, and provides comments to land use agencies concerning air quality impacts of development projects.