CARB calls for grant proposals to improve air quality in communities
SACRAMENTO – Today the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced the availability of $5 million in grant funding as part of a new program to support the implementation of Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617).
Signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. last July, AB 617 establishes a new community-based framework to improve air quality and reduce exposure to toxic air pollutants in California communities most impacted by air pollution. This first of-its-kind effort involves collaborating with local residents and air districts to identify pollution sources of concern, develop solutions and track progress together.
As an initial step, the Community Air Grants Program is seeking proposals up to $500,000 from local groups. Grants are designed to help community-based organizations participate in the AB 617 process and build capacity to become active partners in identifying, evaluating and ultimately reducing exposure to harmful air emissions.
“Providing air quality support to local communities is critical as we work more closely than ever toward our common goal of ensuring that every Californian realizes equitable benefits from the state’s clean air efforts,” said Veronica Eady, CARB’s assistant executive officer for environmental justice.
Organizations are encouraged to propose projects to fit the needs of their specific communities. Funding may cover a range of activities from holding community events and community data collection to education. Applications will be accepted through April 12. Click here for more information about the grant solicitation.
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.
In August 2017, CARB established the Office of Community Air Protection (OCAP) to oversee the Community Air Protection Program, and prioritize and expedite air quality improvements in California’s most polluted communities. The program involves targeted and coordinated efforts by CARB, local air districts and communities to help transform the state’s approach to addressing local air pollution.
During the fall and winter, CARB conducted extensive outreach throughout the state to inform the development of a draft framework for the overall program including more than 80 stakeholder, community and public meetings. As part of outreach efforts, CARB also convened the AB 617 Consultation Group, which consists of 25 members representing key groups including environmental justice groups, local air districts, academic institutions, health agencies and industry.
Earlier this month, CARB staff released a concept paper outlining key elements of the draft framework:
- Identifying and selecting impacted communities
- Statewide strategies for reducing emissions and exposure
- Criteria for community emissions reduction programs
- Criteria for community air monitoring
This month CARB is inviting the public to participate in technical summits in Oakland, Bakersfield and Riverside to discuss the framework in depth. Following those meetings and additional stakeholder input, CARB plans to issue a draft framework later this spring. A final framework is expected to be considered by the Board in September.
- Community Air Grants Program Guidelines & Application
- Guía para las Subvenciones (en español)
- Concept Paper for Community Air Protection Framework
- Draft Process and Criteria for 2018 Community Recommendations
- Community Air Protection Program Webpage
- Community Air Protection Program Fact Sheet
- CARB Environmental Justice Blog