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Exceptional Events: A California Perspective. Karen Magliano, Chief Air Quality Data Branch Planning and Technical Support Division. Guiding Principles. Allow planning efforts to focus on what is controllable Recognize recurrent nature of natural events

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Exceptional Events: A California Perspective

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Exceptional events a california perspective

Exceptional Events:A California Perspective

Karen Magliano, Chief

Air Quality Data Branch

Planning and Technical Support Division

Guiding principles

Guiding Principles

Allow planning efforts to focus on what is controllable

Recognize recurrent nature of natural events

Require level of documentation commensurate with the complexity of the event

Consider what are “reasonable and appropriate” control measures in context of event


Focus of planning efforts

Focus of Planning Efforts

  • Recognize a hierarchy of events:

    • Makes a difference between attainment and nonattainment

    • Affects design values and classifications


Natural events

Natural Events

Not reasonably preventable or controllable

Can recur

Regardless of frequency, are not controllable


Practical approach to documentation

Practical Approach to Documentation

  • Level of documentation should depend on complexity of event

  • Widespread, extreme events:

    • Less documentation to fulfill weight-of-evidence approach

    • Example: Large-scale wildfires or regional/high winds

  • More complex events:

    • More detailed documentation

    • Example: Distant, smaller fires or micro wind events


Special ozone considerations

Special Ozone Considerations

More complex—not direct relationship like PM

Wildfires typically occur during ozone season

In some cases may exacerbate rather than “cause” an exceedance

May require more qualitative analysis


Assessing reasonable and appropriate control measures

Assessing ‘Reasonable and Appropriate’ Control Measures

Determine on an event specific basis

Consider relative contribution of sources

Consider potential emission reductions and cost-effectiveness of further control


Types of events in california

Types of Events in California


High Winds



Case study 2008 northern california wildfires

Case Study2008 Northern California Wildfires

  • June to August, 2008

  • Over 2,000 individual fires

  • 1.2 Million Acres Burned

  • NAAQS Exceedances

    • PM2.5

    • PM10

    • Ozone

Smoke from wildfires covers northern california

Smoke from wildfirescovers Northern California

Wildfire news coverage



Wildfire News Coverage

Cbs video clip 06 24 08

CBS Video Clip – 06/24/08

Photos 2008 wildfires

AP photo/www.sfgate.com/062408


Photos – 2008 Wildfires

Wildfire pm concentrations

7/8 - 7/12

6/24 - 6/28


Wildfire PM Concentrations

All PM2.5 BAM Sites in Northern California

Wildfire pm statistical analysis

Wildfire PM Statistical Analysis

Wildfire ozone concentrations

Wildfire Ozone Concentrations

7/8 – 7/9


Wildfire ozone comparison

Wildfire Ozone Comparison

Wildfire ozone statistical analysis




Wildfire Ozone Statistical Analysis

Case study san joaquin valley high wind event

Case StudySan Joaquin Valley High Wind Event

  • May 21-22, 2008

  • Wind Gusts up to 48 mph

  • NAAQS Exceedances

    • PM10

High winds impact san joaquin valley

High winds impact San Joaquin Valley

High wind news coverage

Turlock – May 2008

High Wind News Coverage

Photos 2008 high wind event

Photos - 2008 High Wind Event

High wind pm concentrations

High Wind PM Concentrations



  • Exceptional Events Rule is in place to identify events beyond planning process control

  • Events should not drive the planning process

  • Flexibility needed based on nature and complexity of events

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