Air Quality Planning
At SANDAG, it’s important that the work we do has no negative impact on the region’s air quality standards. That’s why SANDAG and our partners have created emission-reduction programs to improve the region’s air quality. As air quality standards become increasingly strict, these programs will become even more critical in decreasing pollutants released into our air.
SANDAG follows the provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, which requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. The Clean Air Act defines a “nonattainment area” as a region where air pollution levels persistently exceed the NAAQS. The EPA requires that each state containing nonattainment areas develop State Implementation Plans (SIP) for reaching attainment.
Before proposed transportation projects are approved and implemented through the Regional Plan and the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP), SANDAG ensures our projects conform with SIP for meeting emission standards and do not jeopardize air quality in nonattainment areas.
Air Quality Conformity Working Group (Taskforce)
SANDAG works closely with the Air Pollution Control District, Caltrans, the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in developing regional transportation improvement programs and SIPs for air quality. This importation consultation process is critical in ensuring federal conformity regulations are met.