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2017 was another year of innovation and progress in air quality and climate protection. With the adoption of the Spare the Air, Cool the Climate 2017 Clean Air Plan early in the year, the Air District laid out a plan for the Bay Area to become a post-carbon region by 2050.

This bold vision of sustainability led to the development of the Bay Area Solar Photovoltaic Ordinance Toolkit, a tool for local governments to enable the adoption of rooftop solar and the transition to zero-net energy. Projects to further decarbonize the energy system will continue through 2018 with ongoing EV charging grants and incentives and support for local Community Choice Energy programs.


The Bay Area Air District launched the Technology Implementation Office in 2017 to serve as a catalyst for innovation by incentivizing disruptive, low-cost technologies that combat climate change by reducing GHG emissions from both mobile and stationary emission sources.

Working to further protect public health from air toxics, the Air District developed and the board adopted Regulation 11, Rule 18: Reduction of Risk from Air Toxic Emissions at Existing Facilities. This new regulation is the most health protective of its kind in the nation, which will reduce toxic air emissions from facilities ranging in size from large-scale factories and oil refineries to smaller operations like back-up generators and gas stations.

In collaboration with UC Davis, the Air District conducted a methane study by airplane over a variety of types of methane sources in the Bay Area region, including landfills, refineries, sewage treatment plants, and dairies, and found higher levels of methane than were previously reported from some source types. These findings will help support new methane rule development strategies.

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A clear view of
Downtown Oakland
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MODIS satellite image
Thursday 10.12.2017
40,000 N-95 particulate masks
distributed in North
Bay Communities

During the tragic North Bay wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties, the Air District played a critical role providing smoke-related health advisories through the media and social media, responding to thousands of questions from the public, distributing 40,000 N-95 particulate masks in North Bay communities, and deploying temporary air monitors in Napa and Sonoma counties to provide localized air quality data. In light of the increasing severity and frequency of wildfire incidents due to our changing climate, the Air District is working on improvements to its response plans for the coming year, including grants for clean energy and sustainable housing solutions for those rebuilding in the communities affected by the wildfires.

37.7879° N,
122.3915° W

Throughout 2017, the Air District worked in close collaboration with the environmental justice community on Regulation 12, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining Facility-Wide Emissions Limits. The Air District was unable to find a solution to make the rule both health protective and enforceable in large part due to changes in the Air District’s regulatory power over GHG emissions mandated by the recently-adopted state Assembly Bill 398.

In 2018, the Air District will launch an exciting Climate Protection Grant Program to help further the vision of Spare the Air, Cool the Climate by providing public agency grants to lower greenhouse gases in existing buildings and for innovations that lower GHG emissions from a variety of sources.

In 2018, the Air District will launch an exciting Climate Protection Grant Program to help further the vision of Spare the Air, Cool the Climate.

The largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone pollution in the Bay Area is traffic. During the winter months, shifting weather patterns and colder temperatures cause wood smoke to become the largest source of air pollution.
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