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Welcome to the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District

District Mission__________________________________________

To attain and maintain National and State Ambient Air Quality Standards and to insure air pollutants do not pose a nuisance or significant public health threat.

Announcements____________________________________________

 

Review & Comment for Tehachapi Sanitary Landfill Title V Permit Renewal

Pursuant to the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (District) Rule 201.1 (Permits to Operate for Sources Subject to Title V (Title V) of the Federal Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990), a Federal Part 70 Permit Renewal has been drafted for the Tehachapi Sanitary Landfill (TSL).

PERMITTING ACTION:  The District issued an initial Title V Permit to Operate to this facility in 2016. The purpose of this permitting action is to update and renew the facility’s previous Title V permit. No significant modifications have occurred to the permit. This permit will be valid for five years once issued by the District and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).

PUBLIC COMMENT PROCEDURES: Copies of the Title V renewal application, draft permits, support documents, and the District’s analysis are available for inspection at the District Administrative office located at: 2700 “M” Street, Suite 302, Bakersfield, CA. The District’s analysis includes a statement of legal and factual basis for the proposed conditions and references to applicable statutory and regulatory provisions. Federal enforceable conditions in this permit are subject to public review. Other permit conditions are enforceable by the District only and are not subject to this public review process. 

Comments can be submitted in writing to the District. All comments must be received by 5:00 PM on October 7, 2021.  Members of the public may request the Air Pollution Control Officer preside over a public hearing for the purpose of receiving public oral comments. Issues raised during the public comment period will be addressed in writing by the District before the renewal permit is issued. The permit and all public comments will be forwarded to US EPA Region IX and will be available for review after the 30-day public review process is complete.

 

2020, Air Toxics Report Adopted September 2, 2021

A public hearing was held on Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm in the District Field Office, 20436 Brian Way, Tehachapi, California 93561 to adopt the 2020 Air Toxics Report.

Section 44363 of the California Health and Safety Code requires the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (District) to conduct a public hearing at which the District’s Annual Air Toxics Information and Assessment Act (AB 2588) Annual Report is presented for discussion.

The report summarizes the air toxics program and describes toxic control measures. Facilities are identified and ranked according to the cancer and noncancer health risks posed by their toxic air pollutant emissions.  A copy of the report can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

 

Wildfire Smoke Health Advisory 8/19/2021

Eastern Kern County residents are advised to restrict outdoor activities in smoke impacted areas

Smoke from the several fires in California (including the French Fire west of Lake Isabella and Walkers Fire in Tulare County) have adversely effected all communities in the Eastern Kern County.  The elevated pollution levels have been noted in the Canebrake and Ridgecrest areas.

The Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (District) is recommending that children, older individuals, and those with pre-existing heart and lung problems should avoid outdoor activity, whenever they can smell or see smoke in their immediate area.  Effects can be as mild as a headache; eye, nose or throat irritation; or as serious as triggered asthma episodes or stresses on weakened cardiovascular systems.  Adverse health impacts may also be seen in normally healthy individuals, if they are engaged in strenuous outdoor activities during periods of exposure to ground-level smoke.

Sensitive individuals should stay indoors in an air conditioned building with windows and doors closed whenever there is smoke at ground level in their area.  Most residential central air conditioning systems re-circulate the air inside the home, so these can be operated normally; however, many commercial buildings and a small percentage of newer homes have mechanical ventilation systems that actively bring in outdoor air, and these should be set to a "re-circulate" mode, if available. If you are using a window air conditioner it should also be set to the “re-circulate” mode.  Water or swamp coolers remove only a small portion of the smoke particles from the air that they bring in and provide little protection from the smoke.  The District is recommending to not use a swamp cooler if there is smoke present in your area.  Whole house fans should not be used until the threat of smoke impacts in your area is gone. 

More information on the French Fire can be found at the Fire Incident Information website:  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7813

Be Advised: All Open Burning is Suspended During Wildfires and Related Smoke Events.

 

Health Effects of Inhaling Smoke

Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic matter burns. The biggest health threat from smoke comes from fine particles. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases and are even linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.

People with asthma, heart disease, lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk of being affected by smoke. If you are healthy, you're usually not at a major risk from smoke but it's still a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. It's important to limit your exposure to smoke, especially if you may be susceptible.

How to tell if smoke is affecting you:
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes or a runny nose. If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse. People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue. People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath. When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.

Protect yourself:
Watch local news and weather stations, pay attention to health warning and air quality reports, you can also use the EPA's Air Quality Index (AQI). Use common sense; if it looks smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to mow the lawn, go for a run, or let children play outside.

If your advised to stay indoors take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if needed but make the fresh air intake is closed and the filter is clean. Do not use a swamp cooler as it will pull in lots of smoke from outside. If your house becomes to hot to be comfortable seek alternative shelter. If it is cool outside try to avoid anything that produces heat from burning such as a fireplace, gas logs, or a gas stove.

 

COVID-19 Considerations for Wildfire Clean-Air Shelters

Wildfire smoke is a public health concern. Exposure to wildfire smoke can lead to eye and respiratory tract irritation, exacerbations of existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and premature death. Cleaner air shelters are used by many communities to provide spaces where people can shelter overnight or for extended periods of time.

The use of cleaner air shelters and cleaner air spaces can result in congregating of groups of people, including older adults and those with heart or lung conditions. Congregation of people in cleaner air shelters and cleaner air spaces can
potentially provide a route for the transmission of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, among individuals using the facilities, staff, and volunteers. The CDC has prepared information and advice pertaining to clean-air shelters in a document title “COVID-19 Considerations for Cleaner Air Shelters and Cleaner Air Spaces to Protect the Public from Wildfire Smoke”.
Please click here to download a copy

 

Best Drive EVer Videos

Dancing TeslaThe East Kern Air Pollution Control District provided grant funding to support a Project Clean Air Best Drive EVer test drive event.  The Tehachapi Apple Festival scheduled in October 2020 was cancelled due to Covid restrictions.  Project Clean Air decided to create three EV video stories in place of the live event.  The videos feature Kern County EV owners - the Enthusiast, the Commuter, and the Traveler.  The videos were filmed in Tehachapi, CA in May and June 2021.  Additional footage for the traveler video was shot in and around Bakersfield, CA.

 

June 2021 Desert Breeze

June 2021, issue of the District's quarterly news letter "Desert Breeze" is now available. Click the link below to download a pdf copy or contact the District to have a copy mailed to you. All back issues can be found by clicking here.

 

Variance Hearing Board Member Needed 4/27/21

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that two unscheduled vacancies have occurred on the five-member Variance Hearing Board. The District is soliciting candidates willing to serve in this position.  The District is required to try to fill this position with an attorney or medical professional, as we do not currently have these professions represented on the five-person Hearing Board, however, all general public candidates will be considered.

Any person interested in being considered to fill said vacancy should file a written statement requesting to serve on the Hearing Board, addressed to: Katie Lantz, Clerk of the Board of Directors, EKAPCD, 2700 M St., Ste. 302, Bakersfield, CA 93301. Submit the statement as soon as possible, please include the candidate’s name, address, telephone number, brief statement of work experience, education, and other qualifications. 

 

Open Burning Closed for the Season

On April 11, 2021, the Kern County Fire Department closed Open Burning on SRA land within
Kern County.

 

DMV Grant Voucher Program

The District’s 2020 DMV Grant Voucher Program offers financial incentive in the form of a voucher for the purchase of a new eligible lower-emitting vehicle.  Applications are processed first-come first-served and vouchers issued accordingly until funds are exhausted.  Voucher awards and associated new vehicle emission classification requirements are as follows:

  • $4,000 for purchase of a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) with EPA Smog Score of 10.
  • $2,000 for purchase of a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) with EPA Smog Score of 8 or 9.
  • $1,000 for purchase of a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) with EPA Smog Score of 6 or 7.

 

FARMER Tractor Replacement Program

CCIIn recognition of the need to reduce agricultural-related emissions, State Legislature allocated financial incentives for replacement of older agricultural harvesting equipment, heavy-duty haul trucks, agricultural pump engines, tractors, and other equipment used in agricultural operations.  To achieve this goal, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) developed the Funding Agricultural Reduction Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) program.

The District’s FARMER program provides up to 80% funding for the replacement of diesel-fueled agricultural vehicles, equipment, and engines operating in Eastern Kern County.  Carl Moyer Program (CMP) guidelines are used to determine FARMER program eligibility and grant award amount.

 

Residential Wood BurningDry_Wood_Chart

Many Eastern Kern County residents
use woodstoves and fireplaces to heat
their homes.

If you burn please remember to do so
as cleanly as possible.

Never burn household waste in your
woodstove or fireplace and only burn
clean, dry, seasoned wood, and maintain
a hot fire.

 

Wood Smoke Reduction Program (WSRP) Is Currently Out of Funds

The District is offering rebate vouchers in the amounts of $4,000 and $2,000, to Eastern Kern homeowners to replace Non-EPA certified wood/pellet stove with a new EPA certified wood/pallet stove, or to install an EPA certified gas, electric, or catalytic fireplace insert into a home that uses the heating device as its primary source of heat.  WSRP grant funds are currently depleted.  Vouchers were issued on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds were awarded.  No retroactive vouchers are allowed.

 

Commercial Solar Plant Permitting Requirements

The District has determined commercial solar power plants generate fugitive dust emissions (PM10) in Eastern Kern County.  Therefore, in accordance with Rule 201 (Permits Required) and 210.1 (New and Modified Stationary Source Review, NSR), the District is requiring each commercial solar facility obtain a District Air permit. 

 
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