The Air Quality Staff
The Butte County Air Quality Management staff are dedicated professionals working together to improve air quality. We are clean air advocates with diverse talents sharing a common trait, – concern for the quality of air that we all breathe.
Our mission is to protect the people and the environment of Butte County from the harmful effects of air pollution. We work with our community to promote a better understanding of air pollution issues through a comprehensive program of planning, regulation, enforcement, technical innovation, and public education.
Quality of Air Affects Quality of Life
The air in Butte County does not meet the state or federal health based standards for ozone or fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Because of the unique geography of Butte County we have a struggle ahead of us to clean the air.
Ozone is an invisible pollutant formed by chemical reactions in the presence of sunlight involving the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and reactive organic gases. Because ozone requires the presence of sunlight, it reaches the highest levels in the summertime. It is a powerful respiratory irritant that can cause coughing, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue and lung damage, especially among children, the elderly, the ill and people who exercise outdoors. Ozone also damages plants, including agricultural crops, and degrades manufactured materials such as rubber and paint.
Particulate Matter is a complex mixture which may contain soot, smoke, metals, toxics, nitrates, sulfates, dust, and tire rubber. It can be emitted directly, as in smoke from any fire, or it can form in the atmosphere from reactions of gases such as nitrogen oxides. Health studies have linked fine particulate matter (PM2.5) to several significant health problems including decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
The need to reduce pollution is simple; Clean air means better health and better living for each of us.
As part of our clean air strategy, our staff implements the following:
- Monitor the county’s air quality.
- Provide daily air quality conditions.
- Inventory/ assess the health risks of toxic air emissions.
- Assist/explain State and federal air pollution control laws.
- Provide public education and outreach.
- Respond to public complaints and inquiries.
- Administer Clean Air Grants for projects that reduce air pollution.
- Prepare Clean Air Plans to identify/control how much pollution is in our air.
- Adopt rules and regulations that reduce pollution.
- Issue permits and conduct inspections for businesses/industries which emit air pollutants.
- Analyze the air quality impact of new businesses/ land development projects.
- Implement the Sacramento Valley Air Basin Smoke Management Program that regulates agricultural burning.
- Work with other government agencies to coordinate air quality programs/ regulations.
The Air Quality Management Governing Board is comprised of the five Butte County Supervisors plus five elected city representatives with one member from each of the five cities. The Board represents the unique needs of the people of Butte County to establish policy and approve new rules. The District Board also appoints the Air Pollution Control Officer and District Hearing Board. The Board meets monthly on the 4th Thursday. For meeting calendar and locations, visit the Governing Board page.
The Air Quality Hearing Board is a quasi-judicial body established by State law appointed by the Governing Board. The five-member Hearing Board is authorized to grant or deny a petition for variance; uphold or overturn District decisions regarding permit denials and operating conditions on permits; and issue orders for abatement. The Hearing Board meets as requested.
Join us and your neighbors to improve air quality and increase public awareness.
The Air District is proud to be part of the Butte County community and values citizen input. On duty staff is available to assist the public with any air quality questions or concerns. The District office welcomes you to come by and talk with staff and/or pick up information on various air quality programs. Providing excellent “Customer Service” is a part of the District’s daily business.
Walk-in Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7:30 am-12:00 pm, closed Tuesday from 8:00-8:30 am. District staff are also available Mondays and weekday afternoons by phone, email, or appointment. Please see the Contact Us page to contact staff.