Air District Official Misleads Public With Air Alert Statements

First there is this excerpt from a press release published in various valley newspapers this week as the air district declared an air alert.  The link below is to one particular publication’s resulting article.

Hanford Sentinel

 “Thanks to the public’s understanding of this issue and their efforts to reduce emissions, we’ve had a good summer so far, and we’re on track for the first August and September ever with no one-hour ozone exceedances,” said Seyed Sadredin, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s executive director and air pollution control officer. “But we’re facing abnormal conditions this week and it’s critical to minimize our emissions.”

 So far this year, the air basin has had a single one-hour ozone exceedance earlier in the summer. Federal law requires no more than three exceedances at any given monitor throughout the Valley within a three-year period in order to avoid an annual $29 million penalty. 

 “If we avoid any exceedances through October, we are on track for Year One of this three-year period,” Sadredin said.

Three of these statements made by Sahedrin are in serious question as to their validity, meaning, and intent.

Statement #1:  The claim is made of no violations in August and September for the first time ever.  Besides three violations in June and July of this year, there were also two recorded violations in August of the one-hour ozone standard.  These violations were recorded by the Fresno Drummond monitor on August 10 and 11. There would have been another violation at Arvin on August 28 using mathematical inference.  There is no actual data because the monitor was secretly removed by the air district and CARB in 2010.  Air quality advocates called attention to the missing monitor in 2011.  When EPA was told about the removal they said the district no longer had a monitoring system which they could legally approve for demonstration of valley compliance with air quality standards.  In any case, how does Sadredin not know about the two recorded violations in August?

Statement #2:  We have only had one violation so far this year.  We have actually had 5 recorded violations so far this summer (two were on the same day in July at different locations).  This figure, of course, doesn’t count a couple more at Arvin.  CARB has the official record but apparently Sadredin makes up his own numbers.  SJV max ozone readings in 2012

Statement #3:  We are starting a new three year period.  Obviously, every year is automatically Year One of a three-year period.  Avoiding exceedances in October has little to do with that unless one particular monitor has four exceedances in one summer with at least one in October.  That happens extremely rarely.  This year Fresno Drummond would have to have 2 more exceedances in October.  There has not been a one-hour ozone exceedance anywhere in the valley in October since 2001.  The statement for the press is purposely and obviously misleading.  The reality being covered up with this statement by Sadredin is this year and last year together have already recorded 4 violations at the Fresno Drummond monitor.  That means we have violated the one-hour ozone standard again this year.  It also means that next year (2013) is automatically a violation of the one-hour ozone standard and the penalty of $29 million, paid most unfairly by almost exclusively automobile owners in the valley, will continue through at least 2014.

Here is an unofficial accounting of all SJV one-hour ozone violations from 2007 through 2012. SJV 1 hr violations 2007-2012

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