Air Quality

Monterey Park is located within the South Coast Air Basin, a geographic region which extends from the Pacific Ocean east to the San Jacinto Mountains, and from the San Gabriel Mountains south through Orange County. The Basin, due to its physical configuration and climatological influences, combined with daily pollutant emissions measured in the tons, experiences some of the worst air quality conditions in the nation.

The Basin is a "non attainment" area for ambient air quality standards for ozone, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter. Although continued reduction in pollutant concentrations are expected, the Basin is not expected to meet air quality standards, particularly for ozone, in the foreseeable future. Table R-1 provides a description of key air pollutants of concern in the basin and outlines federal and state ambient air quality standards.

Primary Air Pollution Source
In Monterey Park, air quality problems result from emissions from both local and regional sources. The primary air pollution source is vehicle emissions from cars and trucks using city streets and the surrounding freeways. Responsibility for the control and oversight of emissions lies with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the California Air Resources Board. The SCAQMD monitors air quality throughout the Basin at various monitoring stations.

The city has no direct ability to manage programs for emissions control. However, air quality problems affect the health of city residents. Measures that can help reduce the generation of air pollutants in the city include:
  • Continue / expand the operation of the city-owned Spirit Bus Line, including the addition of a Downtown loop route to promote "park once and shop".
  • Mixed-use land use designations that will encourage a pedestrian environment.
  • Encourage the use of alternative fuels in all city fleet vehicles.
  • Improving traffic flow through and within the city.
Energy Conservation
Energy conservation is another strategy for improving air quality. Pollutants are generated by the combustion of fossil fuels to produce electricity, and by the combustion of natural gas. Reducing energy usage decreases the amount of pollutants generated. Energy requirements can be diminished through innovative architectural design, building construction, structural orientation, and landscaping.

The following goal and policies demonstrate Monterey Park's commitment to assist the SCAQMD with regional efforts to improve air quality over the long term.

Goal Five
Improve air quality for future generations of Monterey Park residents.
  • Policy 5.1 - Continue to improve traffic flow through and within the city.
  • Policy 5.2 - Review zoning regulations annually to identify whether revisions are required to accommodate and encourage the use of alternative-fuel vehicles (for example, electric cars).
  • Policy 5.3 - Encourage employer rideshare and transit incentives programs by local businesses.
  • Policy 5.4 - Enhance pedestrian and bicycle circulation within Monterey Park.
  • Policy 5.5 - Support the development of higher density housing in close proximity to commercial service centers.
  • Policy 5.6 - Synchronize traffic signals to reduce the number of stops and starts by automobiles.
  • Policy 5.7 -  Promote energy conservation and recycling by the public and private sectors.
  • Policy 5.8 - Integrate air quality planning with land use and transportation planning.