1960 - 1965
In 1960, the first industrial emission controls are adopted. Limits are placed on smoke from factories and on surfer compounds. Five air monitoring stations — to measure air pollution in the ambient air — open in 1962.
The Shaping of an Air Pollution Control Strategy
When a visibly perspiring Richard Nixon lost the first televised presidential debate and the election of 1960 to John F. Kennedy, it ushered in an era of youthful optimism. But this idealism would soon be tempered by turbulent social change and tragic events such as Kennedy's assassination and America's entry into the Vietnam War.
In the Bay Area, the Air District's first pioneering efforts at pollution control met with resistance and controversy, but led to great gains for regional air quality.
Regulation 2 limited emissions of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and smoke at industrial facilities in the Bay Area.
The first task for the Air District after limiting open burning was to target the most visible air pollution problem: industrial smokestack emissions. The first industrial emissions regulation, Regulation 2, drafted in the late 1950s and adopted after some opposition in May 1960, set opacity limits on smoke from factories and refineries at 40 percent, and also established emission limits for sulfur compounds. Several years later, in 1965, the Advisory Council also began its pioneering work on what would become Regulation 3, limiting industrial emissions of organic compounds.
The Air District's air monitoring network was established in 1962, with six stations measuring concentrations of pollutants in the air.
The first automotive control in the nation, positive crankcase ventilation, was mandated in 1961 by California's Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, the predecessor to the California Air Resources Board. Recognizing the motor vehicle's sizable contribution to air pollution, the Air District required the retrofitting of 1950-60 model cars with crankcase control devices, paving the way for six other California air districts to adopt similar rules.
The Air District's air monitoring network, the first regional monitoring system in the country, was established in 1962 to measure Bay Area pollution levels and provide useful data for developing strategies to improve air quality.
An early public outreach campaign by the Air District, "Clean Air Week" of 1961, featured a 2-1/2 year old "Miss Clean Air."
While air pollution continued to worsen during the 1960s—with the poorest air quality ever recorded in the Bay Area occurring in 1969—the automotive and industrial controls adopted in the early 60s set the stage for the great improvements in air quality in decades to come.
Regulation 2 is adopted, establishing industrial controls (see entry for 1958).
The first automobile control in the nation, positive crankcase ventilation, is mandated by the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board (precursor to the California Air Resources Board).
The Air District's ambient air monitoring network becomes operational, with five stations in the Bay Area.
The Board of Directors votes to retrofit 1950 — 60 model cars with crankcase control devices. Six other California air districts adopt similar laws.
October becomes the worst month yet for air pollution in the Bay Area, with 19 days over the eye irritation standard (the initial method of measuring air pollution levels).
The Advisory Council starts work on Regulation 3, controlling organic compounds from industrial emissions.
The state legislature adds misdemeanor penalties for Regulation 1 violations.