CARB approves Community Emissions Reduction Program for Stockton
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board approved the Community Emissions Reduction Program (CERP) for the city of Stockton as mandated under Assembly Bill 617. This is the 9th CERP adopted by the Board, and the third CERP to be brought forward by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Residents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods regularly breathe polluted air generated by sources such as railyards and heavy-duty diesel vehicle traffic. AB 617 requires direct community involvement to identify, monitor and reduce air pollutants of specific concern for the local population.
“Thousands of people living and working in these heavily polluted disadvantaged neighborhoods now have powerful tools, allies and funding to help them address the sources of local air pollution,” said Deldi Reyes, CARB Director of the Office of Community Air Protection. “AB 617 empowers residents to partner with Air Districts in prioritizing actions to improve the air quality and public health in their own neighborhoods.”
Following the process established in the Community Air Protection Blueprint, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District convened a community steering committee to develop the CERP between March 2020 and March 2021. The steering committee is made up of 40 members, 23 of whom are local residents, and includes community-based organizations, local businesses and other stakeholders.
Implementation of the strategies in the CERP over the next five years will result in reductions of 698 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), 66 tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 53 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Strategies to reduce emissions target a variety of sources including heavy-duty trucks, school buses, locomotive switchers, older passenger cars, and residential wood burning. Strategies to reduce exposure to air pollution include vegetative barriers, indoor air filtration, and urban greening. The CERP also contains strategies for enforcement, regulatory action, outreach, educational training for electric vehicle mechanics, and partnerships with other agencies to address truck rerouting, for example.
In adopting the CERP, the Board instructed CARB staff and the Air District to strengthen implementation by addressing the committee’s requests for transparent technical and budget information. The CARB Board encouraged the Air District to work with the CSC to determine the allocation of $5 million of funding initially targeted for Port of Stockton measures that were not adopted by the CSC.
Community Air Protection Program
To address the requirements of AB 617 (C. Garcia, 2017) CARB created the Office of Community Air Protection (OCAP) to ensure the reduction of exposure and emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants in the most vulnerable areas of the state. OCAP community liaisons participate in the community steering committees, and provide guidance in the development of the community emissions reduction programs. OCAP and other CARB programs develop online tools to make data more accessible and useful in informing CERP decision-making.
Regional and Statewide Efforts
Generally, reduction strategies in community emissions reduction programs throughout the state target emissions for pollutants of concern and from sources of concern that are identified in collaboration with community residents. Successful implementation of the strategies requires strong partnership within the community steering committee and focused coordination between CARB, the local air district, and state and local land use and transportation agencies. CARB has identified emissions and exposure reduction approaches that all community emissions reduction programs should draw from to ensure a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of potential reductions strategies, including regulations, enforcement, incentives, and mitigation strategies.
CARB continues its statewide efforts to achieve emissions reductions in all communities disproportionately impacted by poor air quality.
These efforts include: