South Coast Air Project

About This Project
Geographic focus: South Coast Air Basin

Main activity: South Coast Air Quality Management District policies and programs
The South Coast Air Project deals with air quality and public health issues at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The District enforces some of the most stringent air pollution control regulations in the world, making real progress towards reducing harmful emissions in the second most populated urban area in the United States. The goal of the project is to work directly with the SCAQMD to continuously improve the region’s air quality and public health. Project members are represented at numerous proceedings and in stakeholder groups of the District, including the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) Advisory Committee, Budget Advisory Committee, Home Rule Advisory Committee, Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) Working Group, Permit Streamlining Task Force, AQ-Spec Advisory Committee, Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study (MATES) advisory group, and other priority issues.
Project Details

Project Manager: Frances Keeler, CCEEB

Meeting Location: Diamond Bar, CA

Project Issues
  • Air Quality Management Plan and State Implementation Plan (SIP)
  • Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) phase out & Regulation XX
  • Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and Best Available Retrofit Control Technology (BARCT)
  • Governing Board leadership, District staffing and staff training
  • Rule 1402 and AB 2588, air toxics
  • Startup/Shutdown/Malfunction Policy
  • Permitting, permit streamlining
  • Rule 1180, community and fenceline monitoring, and AQ-SPEC
  • Clean Air Act issues
  • SCAQMD-related legislation and litigation


The SCAQMD attained PM10 and annual average PM2.5 standards in 2013, but failed to attain the 24-hour PM2.5 standard as of 2019 deadline. This failure triggers contingency measures (see Rule 445 adopted in June). It appears the District will attain the 24-hour PM2.5 standard in 2020 if there are no more than four exceedances in Mira Loma. Staff is developing an attainment plan but it will be moot if the District reaches attainment by the end of the year.

The Coachella Valley 1997 8-hour Ozone nonattainment status has been reclassified as ‘extreme’ as of July 2019. This extends the attainment deadline to 2024, but the area should reach attainment in advance (in 2022-2023). The revised attainment plan is due in February 2021.

The 2022 AQMP covers the 2015 8-hour Ozone standard. Staff will continue working groups, and AQMP development through next year. Expect a draft AQMP in Fall 2021. The Final Draft AQMP is due to be released in Spring 2022.

South Coast 1979 1-Hour Ozone Standard

Earthjustice, on behalf of several environmental organizations, filed a petition requesting US EPA make a determination that the SCAQMD has failed to attain the 1979 1-hour ozone standard ahead of the attainment deadline. Should US EPA issue an early determination, there could be widespread implications for other mandated plans and rulemaking processes.

Barbara Baird will join us at the next SCAP meeting on November 17, 2020 to provide an update.