Wendy Greene, backup
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please contact Industrial Hygiene.
About Air Quality
Regulatory agencies with oversight responsibility for air quality include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). Air quality encompasses a wide range of programs at SLAC, but the focus is on emissions sources -- that is, anything that generates or releases hazardous air pollutants, identified precursors to smog, ozone depleting substances or potent greenhouse gases to the environment.
Traditional emissions sources include solvent cleaners, diesel generators, boilers, oil-water separators, sand-blasters, paint shops, machine shops, and so on. BAAQMD determines whether each subject stationary source requires a permit, or qualifies for an exemption.
Mobile emissions sources, mainly diesel-fueled, are generally regulated by California Air Resources Board (CARB). Sources include forklifts (diesel, propane or gasoline fueled), diesel-fueled trucks and equipment such as cranes, bobcats, graders and tractors. Regulatory requirements can dictate that engines meet strict emissions standards, have annual limits on miles or hours operated and/or have visible labels signifying inclusion in CARB programs.
The Air Quality Program Manager (AQPM) prepares permit applications for new emissions sources, monitors emissions from permitted sources, compiles monitoring data for regulatory deliverables, works with source custodians to minimize emissions, keeps abreast of pending regulations, reviews proposed projects and chemicals to be used onsite with regard to air issues, helps to develop preventive maintenance programs for emissions sources, and interacts with regulators as needed.
SLAC is subject to Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA), and operates under a Synthetic Minor Operating Permit (SMOP) that is renewed annually. What this means is that SLAC is classified as a medium-size facility where emissions of hazardous air pollutants are maintained below established standards in order to avoid the additional regulatory requirements associated with being a major source of emissions. Program deliverables include a variety of annual and semi-annual reports. SLAC employs a procurement-based model (purchase = use) to track hazardous materials, which greatly simplifies collection of monitoring data.
Current high-visibility programs involve greenhouse gases and diesel generators, due largely to the passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). The insulating gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is of particular interest, since it is found in both electrical equipment and research apparatus throughout SLAC. It is the most powerful greenhouse gas known, with a Global Warming Potential about 24,000 times that of carbon dioxide. Additionally, chillers and refrigeration units may be subject to programs to limit emissions of potent greenhouse gases.