Data and Records

Since the start of the Spare the Air program in 1991, the Air District has kept records for the number of alerts issued each year.

Particulate Matter Historical Data

There are different sizes of particulate matter, or PM, with the smaller, fine particles posing a greater risk to public health. PM 2.5 refers to particulates that are 2.5 microns or smaller, about 1/28 the size of a human hair.

The PM 2.5 standard was introduced by the federal government in 2000 and strengthened in 2006. The national 24-hour standard for PM 2.5 is 35 micrograms per cubic meter.

The tables below list the number of Spare the Air Days that were called because PM was forecast to exceed national standards, as well as the number of days on which PM concentrations officially exceeded the state and federal health-based air quality standards.

Prior to summer 2020, these Spare the Air alerts for PM were called Winter Spare the Air days and issued only during a specific November-December Winter Spare the Air season. Because PM exceedances can take place year-round, primarily because of wildfires, the Air District amended it's Wood Burning Rule in 2019 to eliminate the seasonal Winter Spare the Air Alert category.

For that reason there are two tables below: a calendar year table, and one that shows data from 2020 and earlier based on those specific Winter Spare the Air seasons.

 

By Year
Year
Spare the Air Alerts
National 24 Hour PM 10 Excess Days
CA 24 Hour PM 10 Excess Days
National 24 Hour PM 2 5 Excess Days
2020 30
0 0 18
2019 3
0 5 1
2018 3 1              6 18             
2017 19 0 6 18
2016 5 0 0 0
2015 17 0 0 6
2014 13 0 2 3
2013 33 0 6 13
2012 5 0 1 3
2011 12 0 3 8
2010 6 0 2 6
2009 9 0 1 11
2008 6 0 5 12
2007 23 0 4 14
2006 12 0 15 10
2005 0 0 6 0
2004 0 0 7 1
2003 0 0 6 0
2002 1 0 9 7
2001 0 0 12 5
2000 0 0 7 1
1999 0 0 12 N/A
1998 0 0 5 N/A
1997 0 0 4 N/A
1996 0 0 3 N/A
1995 0 0 7 N/A
1994 3 0 9 N/A
1993 0 0 10 N/A
1992 1 0 18 N/A
1991 11 2 18 N/A

 

By Season (November - February)
Winter Spare the Air Season
Winter Spare the Air Alerts
National 24 Hour PM 10 Excess Days
CA 24 Hour PM 10 Excess Days
National 24 Hour PM 2 5 Excess Days
2019-2020 2 0 0 0
2018-2019 4 0 0 1
2017-2018 19 0 0 7
2016-2017 7 0 0 0
2015-2016 1 0 0 0
2014-2015 23 0 0 6
2013-2014 30 0 7 15
2012-2013 10 0 1 1
2011-2012 15 0 4 11
2010-2011 4 0 0 1
2009-2010 7 0 2 9
2008-2009 11 0 0 13
2007-2008 6 0 3 7
2006-2007 30 0 6 20
 
24-Hour PM Standards
  • The national 24-hour air quality standard for PM 10 was set at 150 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 10 in the ambient air, averaged over 24 hours.
  • The California 24-hour standard for PM 10 is set at 50 micrograms per cubic meter in the ambient air, averaged over 24 hours.
  • The national 24-hour standard for PM 2.5 is set at 35 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5 in the ambient air, averaged over 24 hours. (Prior to 2006, the standard was set at 65 micrograms per cubic meter.)
  • The California 24-hour standard for PM 2.5 is currently in the process of being determined.