What are Air Quality Standards and why do we need them?
The United States Environment Protection Agency and the Calfornia Air Resources Board adopt ambient air quality standards to protect public health and welfare.
- Table Of Current Ambient Air Quality Standards
- Learn about the recently adopted Federal Standards for 8-Hour Ozone, October 2015
- EPA's website on criteria pollutants and health information
- Learn about the California standards here
Is air quality in the FRAQMD meeting the Standards?
The US EPA and CARB both designate areas as either "attainment" (meeting the standard) or "nonattainment" (not meeting the standard). A list of the FRAQMD's designations for the standards is available here (effective 12/12/2019):Area DesignationsInformation on the Sutter Buttes Nonattainment Area
What does the FRAQMD do to attain or maintain the Standards?
The FRAQMD adopts Plans to attain and maintain the ambient air quality standards. The Plans are adopted by our Board of Directors at a public hearing, after receiving input from the public, CARB, and US EPA. The Plans can be found at http://www.fraqmd.org/air-quality-plans
The FRAQMD also works with local agencies on assessing and mitigating the air quality impacts of new development through the CEQA process. More information on the FRAQMD"s role in CEQA is available at http://www.fraqmd.org/ceqa-planning.
Many types of stationary and portable pollution generating equipment and processes are required to obtain a permit to operate from the FRAQMD. The permit and engineering evaluation ensure that the processes or equipment will not inhibit our ability to attain or maintain the standards and to protect public health. More information on stationary and portable permits is available at http://www.fraqmd.org/authority-to-construct-permit-to-operate
Where can I get air quality forecasts?
The FRAQMD and EPA provide air quality forecasting through Enviroflash. You can sign up for forecasts and alerts here: http://www.fraqmd.enviroflash.org/
What about wildfires and other air quality events?
Wildfires can produce large amounts of particulate matter, ozone forming pollutants, and toxic air contaiments. If you smell smoke, you should take precautions. We recommend that residents, and in particular those that are sensitive to air pollution like the very young, elderly, or those with a medical condition that may be worsened by exposure, sign up for AQI forecasts and alerts here.
Once a wildfire or other event occurs, you can check the FRAQMD website for information or the following external sites for more information on the event:
During a wildfire smoke event conditions can change rapidly or continue for days at a time depending on meterological factors. Please visit Sutter County Public Health or Yuba County Public Health or the US EPA's website for more information on smoke and your health: https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=particle_health.index.
After a wildfire, residents may be at risk from clean up of debris and other issues. The FRAQMD recommends the following website provided by CalEPA: https://calepa.ca.gov/disaster/debris/