The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association is a non-profit association of the Air Pollution Control Officers from all 35 local air quality agencies throughout California. CAPCOA was formed in 1975 to promote clean air and to provide a forum for sharing of knowledge, experience, and information among the air quality regulatory agencies across the State and the Nation. The Association promotes unity and efficiency, and strives to encourage consistency in methods and practices of air pollution control. It is an organization of air quality professionals — leaders in their field.
What CAPCOA Does
TRAINING – CAPCOA sponsors numerous training opportunities throughout the year in order to provide local district staff and industry with the latest information on air pollution control techniques.
INFORMATION – Through its website, social media presence, and its Public Outreach Committee, provides a wealth of material to the general public. The Association actively promotes public health.
COORDINATION – CAPCOA meets regularly with federal and state air quality officials to develop statewide rules and policies to ensure consistent application of air pollution laws and regulations. Close coordination is also maintained with the regulated community, environmental advocacy groups, and the communities that the air districts serve.
LEGISLATION – CAPCOA actively participates in the development and implementation of air quality bills that speed progress toward healthful air quality, reduce costs, and streamline air quality laws.
Local Air Districts
California law established thirty-five local air pollution control districts in California. These range from small, single county districts such as Lassen, to multi-county agencies such as the San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area and South Coast air districts. Districts provide expertise and knowledge of local conditions and needs to address local and regional air pollution. They are governed by Boards consisting primarily of elected officials, and are staffed by engineers, planners, attorneys, inspectors, meteorologists, chemists, and technicians. Air districts are responsible for control of stationary sources of emissions, while mobile source emissions are controlled by state and federal regulations. Additionally, air districts have the authority to implement control measures which affect transportation sources, including automobiles. Air district activities are closely coordinated with state and federal agency activities to holistically address air pollution.
Current Air Issues
Despite significant progress realized over decades of hard work, California continues to face some of the worst air quality in the nation. Our growing population of over 39 million residents and the fact our economy is the fifth largest in the world makes this a special challenge.
CAPCOA and its members are meeting these issues head-on by working with specialized task forces and work groups, participating actively in the legislative process, and continuing to coordinate local efforts with those of state and federal air agencies. Our goal is to protect public health while ensuring control measures promote equity as well as maintain economic vitality.
What Local Air Districts Do
EMISSIONS CONTROL – Districts adopt cost-effective rules to limit harmful emissions from commercial and industrial facilities.
MONITORING – In coordination with our state and federal partners, air districts operate a sophisticated and extensive network of monitors to measure daily ambient concentrations of pollutants in a local area.
COMPLIANCE – Tens of thousands of sources of air pollution are inspected on a regular basis statewide to assure compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Assistance programs are set up to help business comply.
PERMITTING – Operating conditions and emissions data are reviewed to ensure that regulations are implemented in a timely and environmentally sound manner. Special permit assistance is available to businesses.
COMPLAINTS – Citizen complaints are promptly and thoroughly investigated by district personnel to make sure public health is being adequately protected.
PLANNING & RESEARCH – Districts must look ahead to identify future needs to meet state and federal mandates. Research projects are conducted to find new technologies, such as alternative fuels and energy sources, which support our efforts.
OUTREACH – Districts have established outreach programs, including business assistance programs designed to help the business community understand and more easily comply with applicable regulations, and to provide businesses with technical, financial, and administrative assistance. Many districts have school and community outreach programs to educate children and adults about air quality and what we can do to keep our air clean.