Chapter 10
Air Quality Management Guidelines


Air Quality within the Caliente Resource area is regulated by Air Quality Control Districts (APCD). Required permits relating to Air Quality matters are issued by the appropriate local APCD. Local APCDs have the lead in air quality matters and BLM will not be duplicating permitting/authorization requirements. For third party actions on public lands, such as Oil and Gas Development, BLM will be directing applicants to seek permit/authorization from the appropriate APCD. The Caliente Resource Area includes portions of the San Jaoquin Valley Unified APCD, and San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura County APCDs.

Much of the public land within the Caliente Resource Area exceeds national and state air criteria for most pollutants;  it is necessary for the BLM to work with the air quality regulating agencies to reduce emissions coming from public lands and work toward bringing emissions within national and state standards.

BLM has conducted a review of it's activities and made estimates of current and projected emissions coming from projected activities on public land as discussed below under "Emission Summary".

Emissions Summary

Agency Direct and Indirect Sources

The following information is an estimate and a projected forecast of emissions relative to the 1990 base year. Forecasts for the first planning year and beyond are relative to anticipated and planned activity and historical programmatic operations. In general, activity is either static or in decline, the few exceptions are in conjunction with recreational uses of the public lands. The life of the plan is 10 to 15 years. Calculated PM10 emissions from direct and indirect activities are below de minimis.

Prescribed Fire: The dramatic decline in the prescribed fire program is the result of budget limitations and dissolution of an MOU with California Department of Forestry (CDF) during the period of 1980 through the early 1990s. This MOU provided for cooperative prescribed fire activity essential to the program since our scattered lands are intermingled with both private and other public lands managed by federal, state and county agencies.

Wildfire: The number and acres of wildfire during the base year of 1990 was exceptionally low. Predictions are based on average and expected wildfires, thus the large projected increases in emissions for this category.

Oil and Gas: Emissions have declined because of implemented control measures and a general slow down of operations. A resurgence of operations is not expected.

Livestock Grazing: This activity is static and occurs on those lands that are available and allotted for livestock grazing.  The numbers presented also include disturbance from potential trespass grazing on unallotted parcels. On the basis of range monitoring, areas disturbed which result in PM10 evolution by wind are estimated to be 2% of grazable lands.  These disturbed lands include, trails and areas around salt licks, watering troughs, and corrals.

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Land Use Authorizations: This activity includes any and all permitted use of public lands for power and pipe lines, communication sites (microwave relay stations, radio transmitters, etc.), road right of ways. The projections are based on growth and past activity.

Government Construction: No construction activity is planned.

Employee Transportation: The numbers presented are based on a recent survey conducted in conjunction with rule 9001. One van pool is presently in operation; numbers of employees is not expected to change and will probably decline.

Road grading: No changes expected, however, budgeting may actually hinder yearly targeted miles needing grading.

Off Road and On Road Recreational Activities (passengers cars , trucks, motorcycles, atv and 4 wheel drives) On the basis of cursory surveys and the projected growth and interest in these recreation activities, figures show definite increases in emissions (entrained and exhaust PM10) over the life of the plan. Improved surveys which commenced with the 1994 planning year will give us a better idea of actual uses of public lands.

Wind Erosion: Road and trail closures will reduce the number of unprotected open surfaces susceptible to wind erosion. Many of these closures are due to the recently passed wilderness designation of thousands of acres of public lands in the Sierra Nevada.

Fleet Mobile Sources: During the last two years and in particular this year the number of actual vehicles and employees using them has declined. Operations will probably decline this year and next year and remain static in conjunction with tight federal spending and budget balancing efforts by congress.

San Joaquin Valley (Valley and South Sierra Management Areas combined)

Coastal Air Basins

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