Santa Clarita Gets 2nd Air Monitoring Station

Santa Clarita and air quality officials on Friday unveiled a monitoring station to measure air pollutants in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The station at the Rio Vista Elementary School in Canyon Country will augment a monitoring station in Newhall that measures only ozone, said Tom Eichhorn, a spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The new station will record and analyze levels of ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants, Eichhorn said. The AQMD will spend about $100,000 to operate the station, which is on loan from the California Air Resources Board for a year, he said.

The new station was established at the urging of Santa Clarita officials, who are developing a general plan for the city. A general plan acts as a broad blueprint for development. Should the monitoring station reveal serious problems in the region's air quality, the city could address the problems in the general plan, said Ken Pulskamp, assistant city manager.

Although the Santa Clarita Valley appears to have cleaner air than the neighboring San Fernando Valley, appearances can be deceiving because not all pollutants are visible, city and AQMD officials said. In 1988, for example, ozone levels in Newhall exceeded federal standards on 107 days, Eichhorn said. Ozone is invisible.

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