Open main menu

South Coast Air Quality Management District

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, also using the acronym SCAQMD, formed in 1976, is the air pollution agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin, in Southern California. The separate California Air Resources Board is responsible for regulating mobile sources (e.g. vehicles) in the air basin.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)
Diamond Bar, CA United States
Key people
Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer


Basin geographyEdit

The SCAQMD includes all of Orange County; and the non-desert regions of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County.

The South Coast Air Basin area encompassed by the SCAQMD amounts to about 10,750 square miles (27,850 square kilometres) and is the second most populated area in the United States. This area has a severe problem with smog, and the SCAQMD has been a leader in the nation's efforts to reduce air pollution emissions. The main office of the SCAQMD is located in the city of Diamond Bar.


The SCAQMD develops, adopts and implements an Air Quality Management Plan for bringing the area into compliance with the clean air standards established by national and state governmental legislation.

Air quality and permissible air pollutant emission "rules" are promulgated to reduce emissions from various sources, including specific types of equipment, industrial processes, paints, solvents and certain consumer products. Permits are issued to the pertinent industries and businesses to enforce compliance with the air quality and emission rules, and SCAQMD staff conducts periodic inspections to ensure such compliance.

The SCAQMD's rules apply to businesses ranging from large oil refineries and power plants to gasoline (petrol) fueling stations and dry cleaning plants. There are about 30,000 such businesses operating under SCAQMD permits. In general, the SCAQMD is limited to establishing rules for regulating stationary sources. Emission standards for mobile sources (automobiles, trucks, buses, railroads, airplanes and marine vessels) are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

Air quality monitoring networkEdit

The SCAQMD also operates an extensive network of air quality monitoring stations (about 40 stations) and issues daily air quality forecasts. The forecasts are made available to the public through newspapers, television, radio, faxed messages to schools, the SCAQMD's internet website, and a toll-free Smog Update telephone line.[1][2]

Air quality and air pollution dispersion modelingEdit

The air quality modeling activities of the SCAQMD are one of the functions of the Planning, Rule Development and Area Sources section. That section is also responsible for oversight and commenting upon air pollution dispersion modeling[3] studies performed as part of any environmental impact studies that may be reviewed by or requested by the SCAQMD. The models that may be utilized include:[4]

Governing boardEdit

The SCAQMD has a Governing Board of 13 members. Nine of the members are county supervisors and city council members. The remaining three are appointed by California state officials. Current members of the Governing Board include[5]:

  • Dr. William A. Burke
  • Dr. Clark E. Parker, Sr.
  • Ben Benoit
  • Joe Buscaino
  • Michael A. Cacciotti
  • Janice Hahn
  • Dr. Joseph K. Lyou
  • Larry McCallon
  • Judith Mitchell
  • Shawn Nelson
  • V. Manuel Perez
  • Dwight Robinson
  • Janice Rutherford

The representative for Orange County cities is chosen by the 34 members of the Orange County City Selection Committee.[6] Appointment requires both a majority vote of the committee and a majority vote when weighted by population.[7] In November 2015, Republicans blocked reappointment of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, a Democrat, to the board, voting to replace him with Republican Lake Forest Councilman Dwight Robinson.[7]


The chief Executive Officer of the SCAQMD reports to the Governing Board. The following departments report to the Executive Officer:

Administrative departmentsEdit

  • Policy advisor
  • Legal
    • Counsel
    • Prosecutor
  • Public Affairs
  • Media Relations
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Information Management

Operational departmentsEdit

  • Engineering and Compliance
  • Planning, Rule Development and Area Sources
  • Science and Technology advancement

Funding for the SCAQMDEdit

The AQMD utilizes a system of evaluation fees, annual operating fees, emission fees, Hearing Board fees, penalties/ settlements and investments that generate around 73% of AQMD’s revenue. The remaining 27% of its revenue is from federal grants, California Air Resources (CARB) subvention funds, and California Clean Air Act Motor Vehicle fees.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ SCAQMD Air Quality Monitoring and Forecast Map Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Monitoring, AQI, Standards & Notification, The South Coast Perspective Joe Cassmassi, Senior Meteorologist, SCAQMD, April 2004
  3. ^ Beychok, M.R. (2005). Fundamentals Of Stack Gas Dispersion (4th ed.). author-published. ISBN 0-9644588-0-2.
  4. ^ Air Quality Modeling
  5. ^ "Board Members". Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  6. ^ Sforza, Teri (December 22, 2014). "Cities violated open-meeting laws, county charges". Orange County Register. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Gerda, Nick (November 6, 2015). "Republicans Succeed in Kicking Santa Ana Mayor Off Air Quality Board". Voice of OC. Retrieved September 11, 2016.

External linksEdit