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Eastern Kern APCD

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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____________________________________________

District is open but the office is closed to the public due to remodeling

The Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District is open for business, however the office is closed to the public due to the remodeling going on in the Public Works building. District staff is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All business is being conducted through phone calls, email, and post mail.

 

September 2020 Desert Breeze

September 2020, 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 prefer having a copy mailed to you. All back issues can be found by clicking here.

 

Wildfire Smoke Health Advisory
Eastern Kern residents are advised to restrict outdoor activities in smoke impacted areas

Duration: 9/1/2020 until 9/30/2020

Smoke from the several fires in California (including the SQF Complex Fire) have adversely effected all communities in Eastern Kern County.  The elevated pollution levels have been noted in the Kern River Valley and Indian Wells Valley areas (including communities of Kernville, Wofford Heights, Lake Isabella, South Lake, Keysville, Bodfish, Miracle Hot Springs, Squirrel Mountain Valley, Weldon, Onyx, Canebrake, Inyokern, China Lake Acres, and Ridgecrest.)

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

Open Pile/Hazard Reduction Burn Season Closed May 1, 2020

The Kern County Fire Department closed open pile/hazardous reduction burning within the State Responsibility Area (SRA). Open pile/hazardous reduction burning remains open outside of the Eastern Kern SRA throughout the year. Be advised: You must acquire a burn permit from your local fire department and call them to ensure it is a designated burn day prior to any ignition.
Click for more info

 

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 Is Currently Out of Funds

FireThe Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control (District) Wood Smoke Reduction Program (WSRP) is currently out of funds. The WSRP offers rebate vouchers to replace Non-EPA certified wood stoves, fireplace inserts, and open-hearth fireplaces used as a residential primary source of heat, with new cleaner burning devices.

Applications will no longer be accepted. However, additional funding may become available early 2020, at which time the application will be accepted until grant funds are depleted. Vouchers will be awarded first-come, first-served basis. A Completed application must be signed by the homeowner and submitted to the District.

No retroactive rebates are allowed.

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.

 

2015, 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (70 ppb) RACT SIP Adopted 9/3/20

A public hearing was held on September 3, 2020, beginning 2:00 pm at the Tehachapi Police Department Community Room, 220 West "C" Street, Tehachapi, CA.  At this hearing the District's Governing Board adopted A Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the 2015, 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the District’s nonattainment area has been prepared to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA).  A copy of the adopted Plan can be downloaded through the link below.

 

AB 2588 2019 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. A public hearing was held on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at the hour of 2:00 p.m. at the District Field office located at 20406 Brian Way, Suite 4A in Tehachapi, CA 93561. A copy of the report can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

 

Indian Wells Valley Second PM10 Maintenance Plan Adopted 5/7/2020

A public hearing was held on May 7, 2020, beginning 2:00 pm at the Tehachapi Police Department Community Room, 220 West "C" Street, Tehachapi, CA.  At this hearing the District's Governing Board adopted the Second Indian Wells Valley (IWV) Maintenance Plan for the 24-Hour PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).  A copy of the adopted Plan can be downloaded through the link below.

 

EKAPCD 2018/2019 District Report

A message from the Air Pollution Control Officer: On behalf of the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to present the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District 2018-2019 Report.

 

AB 617 BARCT Expedited Implementation Schedule

The Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (District) adopted the AB 617 BARCT Expedited Implementation Schedule November 1, 2018, at a public meeting beginning 2 p.m. at the Tehachapi Police Department Community Room 220 West “C” Street, Tehachapi, CA. The AB 617 BARCT Expedited Implementation Schedule was adopted to comply with provisions of CH&SC §40920.6(c) (AB 617).

 

Ozone Attainment Plan for District's Non-Attainment Area

The District’s Board of Directors recently adopted a Reasonably Available Control Technology State Implementation Plan (RACT SIP) and Ozone Attainment Plan.

The RACT SIP was prepared to satisfy requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA).  The FCAA requires ozone nonattainment areas to implement RACT for sources subject to control techniques guidelines (CTGs) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and for “major sources” of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which are ozone precursors.

The Ozone Attainment Plan presents the District’s strategy (including related mandated elements) to attain the 2008, 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by 2020, as required by FCAA.

Click the links below to download copies of each plan.

 

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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