CARB awards $10 million in funds to 42 community-driven projects to fight air pollution across the state
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today announced the award of $10 million to 42 local non-profit organizations and California Native American tribes for projects that focus on air pollution reduction efforts across the state.
The Community Air Grant program funds local organizations and California Native American tribes to launch community-driven projects that engage residents and supports grassroots ideas aimed at tackling air pollution issues. This year, the grant program is funding a new kind of project called a Local Community Emissions Reduction Plan (L-CERP), which encourages community collaboration with local air districts and other government agencies that can help implement proposed air improvement actions prioritized by residents. Eight organizations were awarded funds to launch this new effort. Other funded projects range from educational outreach efforts to increase awareness about local pollution and advocacy opportunities to air monitoring programs that supply residents with data about conditions in their community.
“Tackling pollution and achieving clean air goals requires that every Californian plays a role in building a healthier future. The Community Air Grant program empowers residents who deal with the worst impacts of environmental injustice so that their ideas and experiences shape solutions,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “The program is also an example of how equity strengthens our air quality actions by ensuring they meet the needs of those most impacted by pollution and unhealthy air.”
Community Air Grants are an essential component of CARB’s implementation of AB 617, which requires that air pollution reduction efforts target disadvantaged communities. Since the program was launched in 2018, $35 million has been awarded to 69 local organizations and eight California Native American tribes. All projects are located in and benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities, per Senate Bill 535 and Assembly Bill 1550.
“California has some of the most polluted air in the nation, and communities that are on the front line of pollution deserve to be heard and included in the work of building a clean air future,” said Chanell Fletcher, CARB Deputy Executive Officer of Environmental Justice, Tribal Affairs, and Border Relations. “The Community Air Grants make it possible for residents to access the resources and assistance needed to make their communities healthier.”
A Few of the Award Recipients and Their Projects
- The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians will develop a targeted local Tribal Community Emissions Reduction Plan for harmful emissions that impact the Soboba Reservation. The Soboba Tribe faces challenges from increasing wildfires, transportation sources, and industrial operations surrounding the reservation. The project will provide data, training and educational resources that target pollution reduction, including the creation of a local emissions inventory. Following that initial work, the community will develop an action plan to tackle sources of emissions.
- The Clean Water Fund in the San Joaquin Valley will develop a targeted Local Community Emissions Reduction Plan (L-CERP) in Lost Hills. The Lost Hills community is located less than a mile downwind from the Lost Hills Oilfield. The community is also impacted by agriculture, the proximity to heavily trafficked transportation corridors and other local emissions sources. The funding will help the group develop a shared governance structure for community engagement and a plan to tackle local air quality issues.
- The People’s Collective for Environmental Justice will support an educational project that includes community engagement and leadership capacity-building goals for the residents of Bloomington and the City of Colton in the Inland Valley. Residents in these two areas experience air pollution from heavy-duty diesel and drayage trucks and locomotives. This project will provide tools the community can use to advocate for clean air and a healthy environment.
- The Del Amo Action Committee in Los Angeles County will conduct a comprehensive technical air toxics study that includes measuring the air pollution levels in the community, documenting emission sources, and estimating the cumulative health risks from all air pollution. Air pollutions sources near the Del Amo neighborhood include an industrial park, warehouses, Superfund sites, and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Del Amo project will involve education, training, and community capacity-building activities.
- Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet will implement a technical project to install 10 air quality monitors, in partnership with local agencies and community-based organizations, to enhance local air monitoring data in locations across the City of San Jose, which has limited air quality monitoring infrastructure. The air monitoring data will inform science, health, and social justice discussions and actions to improve public health impacts. Acterra will train residents on how to use and maintain air quality monitors, and how to read, analyze, and use the resulting data. The nonprofit also will engage students and families in working with local government agencies to take actions that improve local air quality.
- The Morongo Band of Mission Indians will implement a technical project to enhance and expand its Community Air Quality Monitoring Network and perform additional air quality sampling for air toxics impacting the Morongo Reservation. Air quality on the Morongo Reservation is impacted by multiple industrial and mobile sources in neighboring Riverside and Los Angeles Counties. This project will help support and enhance the community by engaging, informing and empowering the community to take action to protect air quality and reduce exposure of air pollution on the reservation.
The Community Air Grants Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work, particularly in disadvantaged communities.