Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Air Pollution at Newhall Ranch.

Technical Report No. 2.

Technical Report No. 2

December 7, 1954
Development Department
The Newhall Land and Farming Company
Saugus, California

Pami Introduction 1 Summary-2 Smog -The Ingredients 3 Smog -The 't'rigger 4 Smog Potentialities at Newhall 5
Appendix A: Wind Directions at Saugus 7
Apnendix B: Wind Condition~ and Mo8t 8 Prevalent I!igh Winds at ~au~s
Appencix C: !~l~cellaneoug Weather CondItions 9 at saugus lo
Smog as it has developed in Los Angeles in the past ten or fifteen years is truly a major catastrophe. Only those who have ex= perienced severe smog corrlitions there can appreciate the nuisance, the economic loss, and the hazard to health and property that this phenomenon represents. It is natural, therefore, that one of the first things to consider in the development of a new town at Newhall Ranch is the question of air pollutionG
At the present time there is .no air pollution problem in the _ Eastern end of the Santa Clara Valley. We aim to keep it that way, to the very best of our abilityo
In order to keep our present pure air, we must know just what the contamimnts are that must be controlled, and how much of these con= tamina.nts can be tolerated with the particular topographical and meteo rological conditions th~t we have. We must also have a clear picture of the sources from which the damaging contaminants cameo
In this report, we will not concern ourselves too much with the chemical and physical nature of smog, except as it is necessary to identify it~ What we will do is to try and tag it, and measure its possibilities, ~o that we can know what to do to control ito .
At the present time the leakage of smog from the San Fernando Valley into the Santa Clara Vnlley is negligibleo While it is conceivable that greater concentrations of contaminants in the air leaking into our valley could be detriment~l, it is also inconceivable that the people of Los Angeles can tolerate a coreentration so great that it would present any nuisance when leaked in small amounts into our valleyo For this reason, this report will ignore the leakage factor as a potential problemo
The most important man"" in the air in the Loa Angeles area that contribute to Smog are gaseous organic compounds? coming from the daily activities of the genernl public and irx:1ustryo These in themselves are not to cause Smog, unless starnant weather con= ditions perrn:tt contamine.nts to concentrate e.bove the permissable levelo
Weather cond.itions in reneral a.t Newhall Ranch will be similar to t.hose experienced in Los Angeleso The greater air turbulence caused by greater temperature variations will tend toward a lesser build-up of pol]utantsy; howevero
By proper pla1m:ngi air contamination from irrlustry and from household incinr2ra:tors at Newhall Ranch will be kept at a mlnim.nno The principle source of gaseous org&nic materials wi ll be automobile ex...11.austso
By the time that Newhall Ranch builds up to a population of 75,000 the ,ac.1:).~eixtration of automobile exha,usts will be only about 40% of that hi Los Angeles from the same source9 assuming that nothinp, is done to elim:inate or minimize organic materials in exhe.usto The lower conoentration in Newhall results from the relatively grater volume of air available in which t.o disp--rse the contaminants<, 'Eventually development of an effecti ve device for controlling automobile exhaust should essen= tially remove any air pollution hazard at Newhallo
What little nuisance .th(;re might be from air contaminan.ts from in:lustria.l j nstallations will be minimized because pre,miling winds will drive fumes and smoke auay from the residential proper planningi) air pollution at Newhall Ranch should never present a serious problemo
Smog as it is kmwn in the Western states (particularly Southern California) is entirely different than the atmospheric pollution that is common in the Eastern and mid-Western cities of the United States~ In the large cities to our east, such as Pittsburgh, New York; St. Louis and Chicago, air pollution is caused primarily by soot and solid particles,. resulting from the burning of coal and coke~ In Los Angeles, smog is the result of the burning of liquid and gaseous fuels (primarily gasoline, fuel oil and natural gas), augmented by the proces= sing of these fuels and the burning of rubbish in backyard iooinera.torso
In metropolitan Los Angeles, there is a total of about 21700 tons per day of pollutants put into the air from various combusion sources. Of this total, the fraction which causes troublea in the form of eye irritation, reduced visibility and vegetation damage is called "organic", and totals about 19 500 tons per dayo
In 1953, the make-up of these organic effluents in Los Angeles was as follovs:
General Public Emissions
Fuel gas 11 tons
Fuel oil 11
Gasoline 1,016
Refuse 41-' .
l,452 tons
Petroleum I n:lustry; &niosions
Fuel gas 16
Fuel oil 12
28 tons
Other Industry Emissions
Fuel gas Fuel oil 8 17
Refuse 29
__5_1,. tons
11 534 tons

It must be remembered that on many days or the year, the 1,500
tons per day of organic effluents put into the air or Los Angeles cause little or no trouble. The only time when these pollutants build up to intolerable 'proportions are on those days (usually in late Summer and Fall) when weather corditions conspir6 to trap the materials over the oityo
In the Summer and Fall, Los Aneeles experiences frequent and long "inversions"o A temperature inversion consists of a layer or warm air, suspended at some distance above the groum, that prevents the usual air turbulence. Such an inversion at a heieht of 1,000 tt. or less over Los Angelea, will effectively seal in the air contaminants, since the wall of mountain surrourxUng the city will not permit the polluted air to escape from under the inversiono Over the Los Angeles basin a severe, low inversion may persist for many days, even a week or two. When this happens, the buildup of pollutants reaches truly intolerable levels, such as during Thanksgiving week of this y~,ar, when there were tr~ousands of traffic accidents because of poor visibility, air traffic was grounded, crops damaged, and severe eye irritation experienoede
The inversions that form over the Los Angeles Basin have their origin over the Pacific Ocean and extend over Newhall as wello The F,astern Santa Clara Basin is much smaller however, and farther inlando With a. lareer proportion of mountainside to air volume, and with a wider daily fluctuation in temperature, we pet a greater turbulence during the day which serves to destroy the inversion or at least raise it high enough to permit dilution and escape of any pollutants that might be presento Thus, although our nighttime inversion will be as severe (and possibly a little more so) than Los Anv,eles will have, this will be completely or partially broken up duri~ the day, with the result that we do not have the problem of coping with the build-up of many days 9 production of air pollutantso
Smog in Southern California is caused by a combination or organic pollutants and adverse weather conditions. Weather conditions in the Newhall area are not so bad in this respect as in the Los Angeles area, and much can be done to eliminate or control organic emissions to the atmosphere. This means that Smog can be controlled by talcing preventative measureso
In our planned community, only industry that contributes a negligible amount of contaminants to the air will be allowed, and the general public will burn little or no refuseo On this basis, the Los Angeles figures for total organic contaminants to the air would have looked somewhat as follows:
General Public Emissions
Tons/Day Pergentage
Fuel gas and oil Gasoline 22 1,016 1,038 2 ~ 98
Ip:lustry Emissions
Fuel gas and oil_ 25 ....&
1,063 100

If we can follow a pattern such as this at Newhall Ranch, 98% of the pollutants will come from the general public, with 96% from the operation of automobiles.
Even without any corrective dev~ces on the automobile e:xbaust pipes, the automobile picture will not be so bad at Newhall, as it might appear. The present population of Los Angeles County is about 510009000 people, and the exhaust from their 2,000,000 automobiles spreads over about l,Eoc square miles, which means that the automobile "loading" is about 1,250 per square mileo When the population of Newhall Ranch reaches 75,000, there will be about 75 square miles for the 30,000 automobile exhausts to spread over {even though the town itself will occupy only about 15 square miles), a loading of approximately 400 automobiles per square niile9 The car exhaust problem will therefore only be about 30% as bad as in Los Angeles, and this situation is further improved to an unknown degree by the greater degree of air turbulence in the Santa Clara V,1lleyo
As soon as a useful catalytic device is developed, Los Angeles County will urxloubtedly require such a device on the exhaust system of all automobiles, for the purpose of eliminating or minimizing the organic effluents. When this is achieved, almost complete elinrlnation of any smog potential at Newhall Ranch would seem a distinct possibilityo
Although the iniustry emissions at Newhall Ranch will be small in the aggregate, they can be a potential local nuisance because of the relatively large concentration from a few sources. In our case, this should present no problem, since the prevailing winds are from the South and Southeast9 and our industrial district will be on the Northern edge of the town, along Saugus Road. Winds from the Northeast and Northwest are frequently experienced durirg the Winter, but these are invariably so strong that there is no possibility for the accumulation or air contaminants. (See Appendices A and B.)
Appendix A - charts [SEE ORIGINAL]

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