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Summary of Rule Development Requirements for Air Districts
[Rule Actions Required of Air Districts Under SB 700]
Under SB 700, air districts are required to ensure that federal permits (Title I for new/modified major sources, and Title V for existing major sources) are implemented for affected agricultural sources, consistent with federal requirements. This may require rulemaking by the district. Districts are also required to issue general permits for agricultural sources above a certain size, and to exempt sources below a certain size, unless the district Board first makes specified findings. For a detailed discussion of these requirements, see Section III of the Implementation Paper.
SB 700 also requires districts to adopt rules to regulate emissions from agricultural operations; these requirements are based on the districts’ attainment designation for federal particulate and ozone standards, as it was on January 1, 2004. The table below divides air districts into four groups, based on federal attainment as of 1/1/04; rule development requirements under SB 700 are different for each group, with Group I facing the greatest requirements and shortest deadlines, and Group IV facing the smallest requirements and later deadlines.
Group I: This group includes the San Joaquin Valley, the South Coast, Sacramento County, the Mojave Desert, and Imperial County (transitional nonattainment).
Group II: This group includes the Antelope Valley, Butte County, El Dorado County, Feather River area (Sutter & Yuba counties), Kern County (eastern), the San Francisco Bay Area, Ventura County, and the Yolo Solano area.
Group III: This group includes only the Great Basin area (Alpine, Inyo, and Mono Counties).
Group IV: This group includes Amador County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Glenn County, Lake County, Lassen County, Mariposa County Mendocino County, Modoc County, the Monterey Bay Area (Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties), the North Coast area (Del Norte, Humbolt, and Trinity Counties), the Northern Sierra area (Nevada, Plumas and Sierra Counties), Northern Sonoma County, San Luis Obispo County, San Diego County, Santa Barbara County, and Tuolumne County.
Some of the districts in this group may find it to be more appropriate for their circumstances to adopt a stand-alone rule that establishes all permitting and (if applicable) mitigation requirements for agricultural operations. Some of the factors that will affect this decision include the complexity of the district’s current program, the difficulty it faces maintaining attainment status, whether it is subject to planning and rule adoption requirements to attain state ambient air quality standards, and the amount of agricultural activity in the district as well as the contribution those activities make to local air quality problems.