About Us

CAPCOA, the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, is a non-profit association of the air pollution control officers from all 35 local air quality agencies throughout California. CAPCOA was formed in 1976 to promote clean air and to provide a forum for sharing of knowledge, experience, and information among the air quality regulatory agencies around the State. The Association promotes unity and efficiency, and strives to encourage consistency in methods and practices of air pollution control. It is an organization of air quality professionals — leaders in their field.

What CAPCOA Does

TRAINING – CAPCOA sponsors numerous training opportunities throughout the year in order to provide local district staff and industry with the latest information on air pollution control techniques.

INFORMATION – CAPCOA publishes a monthly newsletter, and, through its Public Outreach Committee, provides a wealth of material to the general public. The Association actively promotes public health.

COORDINATION – CAPCOA meets regularly with federal and state air quality officials to develop statewide rules and to assure consistent application of rules and regulations. Close coordination is also maintained with the regulated community. For example, a coalition of districts, ARB and businesses met with much success on Title V issues.

LEGISLATION – CAPCOA actively participates in the development and implementation of air quality bills that speed progress toward healthful air quality, reduce costs, and generally streamline air quality laws.


Local Air Districts

California law has established thirty-five local air pollution control districts in California. These range from small, single county districts such as Lassen, to multi-county agencies such as the Bay Area and South Coast AQMDs. Districts provide local expertise and knowledge of local conditions to deal with local problems. They are governed by Boards consisting primarily of elected officials, and are staffed by engineers, planners, attorneys, inspectors, meteorologists, chemists, and technicians. In general, these local districts are responsible for control of stationary sources of emissions. While mobile source emissions are mostly controlled by state and federal regulations, local districts do have authority to implement control measures which affect transportation sources, including automobiles. Local district activities are overseen by both the state and federal agencies.


Current Air Issues

Despite great strides, California still has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and needs to do more. Our growing population and diverse economy makes this a special challenge.

CAPCOA is meeting these issues head-on by working with specialized task forces (including regulated industry), participating actively in the legislative process, and continuing to coordinate local efforts with those of the state and federal air agencies. The goal is to protect public health while maintaining economic vitality.


What Local Air Districts Do

EMISSIONS CONTROL – Districts adopt cost-effective rules to limit harmful emissions from commercial and industrial facilities.

MONITORING – Many districts operate a sophisticated and extensive network of monitors to measure daily ambient concentrations of pollutants in a local area.

COMPLIANCE – Tens of thousands of sources of air pollution are inspected on a regular basis statewide to assure compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Assistance programs are set up to help business comply.

PERMITTING – Operating conditions and emissions data are reviewed to ensure that regulations are implemented in a timely and environmentally sound manner. Special permit assistance is available to business.

COMPLAINTS – Citizen complaints are promptly and thoroughly investigated by district personnel to make sure the public health is being adequately protected.

PLANNING & RESEARCH – Districts must look ahead to identify future needs to meet state and federal mandates. Research projects are conducted to find new technologies, such as alternative fuels, which support our efforts.

OUTREACH – Districts have established outreach programs, including business assistance programs designed to help the business community understand and more easily comply with applicable regulations, and to provide businesses with technical, financial, and administrative assistance. Many districts have school and community outreach programs to educate children and adults about air quality and what we can do to keep our air clean.