Geysers Air Monitoring Program
Ambient air monitoring and coordinated source management play a major role in maintaining Lake County air quality in residential communities adjacent to large scale geothermal operations. This air monitoring effort is named the Geysers Air Monitoring Program, or GAMP. The program monitors hydrogen sulfide and other air contaminants to document long-term air quality trends in The Geysers Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA). GAMP, which began in 1984, is largely funded by the operating industry, but the air agencies also contribute to the effort. GAMP is managed under a Memorandum Of Understanding by a consortium that includes public, industry and regulatory members.
Three continuous monitoring stations now operate in Lake County, at Pine Summit Estates, Anderson Springs, and Glenbrook. Two meteorological data stations are also located on the Lake/Sonoma County line. Radon and particulate matter (PM-10) are monitored at the Glenbrook and Anderson Springs locations. Special projects to measure other components such as ammonia, mercury, and metals have been incorporated, and are occasionally still conducted as part of the program. Historically there have been as many as seven H2S stations, and up to seventeen entities participating in the program, which involves cooperation and participation among Public, Industry and Regulatory members who meet quarterly to review and validate the data that has been collected and to guide the future efforts.
Data collected by GAMP have established compliance and ongoing adherence to Ambient Air Quality Standards. In 1990, using 1987-89 data of record, the Lake County Air Basin and the KGRA was designated in compliance with H2S and all other air quality standards, and it remains the only air district in the state to meet all federal and state ambient air quality standards, even new ones and those that have become more stringent since 1987.
Multi Agency, District, Industry and Public Cooperative
GAMP Members have changed from the original seventeen members with industry ownership changes. At present, the regulatory members are the Lake County and Northern Sonoma County Air Districts; the California Air Resources Board; and the California Energy Commission. Industry members include Geysers Power Corporation, LLC (Calpine); Western Geopower, Inc.; Bottle Rock Power, LLC; and the Northern California Power Agency. Public members include the Anderson Springs Community Service District and the Friends of Cobb Mountain.