1965 - 1970
As the infamous Sixties came to a close, the California Air Resources Board established the first air quality standards for pollutants in the ambient air, and the Bay Area recorded 65 days over the national one-hour standard for ozone (12 parts per hundred million)— the highest number of days in its history.
The Path Towards Environmental Awareness
As 1965 dawned, Lyndon Johnson was beginning his own term as President, the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, the Vietnam War was becoming a staple on the Six O'Clock News, and the Air District was beginning to establish controls on organic compounds from industrial emissions.
The year would also bring the enactment of legislation making open burning in the Bay Area a misdemeanor, with penalties of up to $500 in fines or six months in jail.
In 1969, the Bay Area recorded 65 days over the national ozone standard, making it the worst year ever for air quality in the region.
The first auto emission standards in the nation for hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide were adopted by the California Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board (MVPCB) in 1966.
In this same year, the Air District's Advisory Council began discussing the feasibility of banning backyard burning of refuse, while the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Pollution issued a report on the need to recycle both liquid and solid waste.
In 1969, the ban on backyard burning was adopted and an extensive education campaign on the issue was launched.
In January of 1967, President Johnson warned that the nation was losing the fight against air pollution and outlined an increased role for the federal government in controlling the problem. Subsequently the Air Quality Act, a predecessor to the Clean Air Act, was passed by Congress.
As the year progressed, the Air District adopted industrial limits for the handling of organic compounds, and approved plans to move to its current headquarters at 939 Ellis Street in San Francisco. In this period, the MVPCB was renamed the California Air Resources Board.
The first automobile emission standards in the nation were implemented by the state of California in 1966.
The Advisory Council starts work on Regulation 3, control of organic compounds from industrial emissions.
The state legislature adds misdemeanor penalties for Regulation 1 violations.
The first auto emission standards in the nation for hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are adopted by the MVPCB.
Regulation 3, controlling organic compounds from industrial emissions, is adopted by the Air District's Board of Directors.
The Air Quality Act, predecessor to the Clean Air Act, is passed by the U.S. Congress.
The Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board becomes the California Air Resources Board (ARB).
Agricultural burning is controlled with "burn / no burn" days.
The state legislature authorizes the Air District to seek $500 in civil penalties for violations of Regulation 2, which controls industrial emissions.
ARB promulgates the first state air quality standards.
The Air District records 65 days of "unhealthful" air, the worst year for air quality in the Bay Area on record.
The Air District bans backyard burning in the Bay Area.
The Clean Air Act is passed by U.S. Congress.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is created.