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- Selection year: 2018
- Selected for: Community Air Monitoring Plan and Community Emissions Reduction Program
- Air District: San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
- CARB Community Lead Contact: Michelle Byers
Shafter is a community in Kern County northwest of Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD). The community is impacted by agricultural operations as well as oil and gas operations. The community also has heavily used roadways and rail activity. The Shafter community has a high cumulative air pollution exposure burden, a significant number of sensitive receptors, and includes census tracts that have been designated as disadvantaged communities. The San Joaquin Valley has been the focus of numerous air quality studies, which lay the necessary foundation for the development of an emissions reduction program in this rural community. In addition, community air monitoring would provide additional data for understanding localized impacts within the recommended community as well as tracking progress in implementing the emissions reduction program.
Shafter is a small rural community of approximately 15 square miles with a population of about 18,000, in the southern end of the Central Valley. It is surrounded by farmlands including dairies and agricultural fields. Oil and gas operations, such as hydraulic fracturing are common in the area. There are 2 oil and gas production facilities in Shafter and the major roadways include Highway 43 and the Lerdo Highway. A rail line also runs parallel to Highway 43. Sensitive receptors within the area include 9 schools, 5 licensed daycare facilities, and 1 hospital. The community is mostly low-income residents, with high levels of unemployment, linguistic isolation, and incidences of cardiovascular disease.
Community Air Monitoring
In 2018, the Community was nominated by the District and selected by CARB as a monitoring community. The District published the Community Air Monitoring Plan: Shafter AB 617 Community in July 2019.
The Community Air Monitoring Plan identifies areas of interest for AB 617 monitoring such as stationary and mobile sources, monitoring site locations, sampling schedules, and types of equipment and strategies. The plan was designed to obtain detailed air pollution levels through the Community, determine areas in the community of highest risk, quantify sources of air pollution within the community, and to position the Community to develop emissions reduction strategies and monitor the effectiveness of those strategies.
CARB and the District have historically implemented air monitoring which includes regulatory monitoring in Kern County. The AB 617 community air monitoring plan is specifically designed with the community steering committee input to measure and collect localized and elevated air pollution levels data. The District considered health statistics, air quality concerns from residents in multiple communities, as well as screening tools that combine environmental, health, and socio-economic information to calculate community-wide risk factors in the planning and implementation of community air monitoring. Community-level expertise through steering committee meetings and input from a broad range of stakeholders supported the District's development of this plan.
The collection of comprehensive air quality data is essential to develop emissions reduction plans and strategies. The monitoring data will be provided to CARB once available and can be downloadable on AQView where monitoring data from other AB 617 community air monitoring plans are also included.
Community Emissions Reduction Program
SJVAPCD convened a community steering committee and developed the Community Emissions Reduction Program: Shafter (Program) in coordination and consultation with the steering committee. The Program focuses on reducing exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), toxic air contaminants (TAC), and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Reduction strategies target a variety of sources including passenger cars, residential energy use, heavy-duty trucks, oil and gas systems, fugitive dust, and agricultural sources including pesticides. The steering committee and SJVAPCD identified 52 specific strategies that include community-centric investments, enhanced enforcement, increased outreach and training, cross-agency collaboration, and regulatory amendments.
Community engagement is a key part of the AB 617 program. Air districts are responsible for convening a community steering committee using an open and transparent nomination process. Community steering committees create new, and foster existing, local partnerships which drive the AB 617 program. In this advisory role, community steering committees oversee the development and implementation of the program such as in community identification, community air monitoring, and community emissions reduction programs. The steering committee aims to identify metrics, track progress, solicit, and share information with the Shafter community. The current Community Steering Committee was selected representing a diverse range of community viewpoints.
The current Community Steering Committee charter describes the Shafter Community Steering Committee membership process, how meetings are conducted, and how information is made available to its members and the public.
Annual Implementation Progress
Annual progress reports are completed by the District. Qualitative and quantitative progress assessments as well as status updates from interim milestones identified by the CARB Governing Board are available in the annual progress report and accompanying metric workbooks. A detailed update for each strategy can also be found here as it is made available.