Air Pollution and Traffic


Traffic exhaust is a major source of air pollution in California, especially in urban areas, and is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Traffic exhaust pollutants include compounds such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates (fine dust and soot), also called "criteria" air pollutants, and a wide range of toxic air pollutants such as benzene or PAHs.  Potential health effects from being exposed to traffic exhaust pollutants include respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, adverse reproductive or pregnancy outcomes, cancer, and shortening of the life span. To Learn more visit the California Department of Public Health’s Air Pollution and Traffic Exhaust page.

The mission of the lake County Air Quality Management District (LCAQMD) is to maintain healthful ambient air quality for the residents and visitors of the Lake County Air Basin.  The Air Basin is a federally and State recognized geographic area that is the same as the county boundary. The District is a regional agency, created by the state, that regulates stationary sources of air pollution within the Lake County Air Basin.  These sources include industrial developments such as the Geysers Geothermal Power Generation as well as commercial businesses with air emissions such as mining operations and gasoline stations. The District also regulates open burning and is delegated a variety of other programs such as State Air Toxic Control Measures (ATCMs) and Federal New Source Performance Standards (NSPSs).  The main purpose of the LCAQMD is to enforce local, state, and federal air quality laws, rules and regulations in order to meet the Ambient Air Quality Standards (AAQSs), and protect the public from air toxics through local regulation, State ARB ATCM and Federal EPA NESHAP specific control regulations. Learn more about LCAQMD and the Lake County Air Basin.