Community Air Grant

The San Joaquin Valley is home to some of the worst air pollution in the nation, and Valley communities have lacked meaningful engagement from agencies. Through the Community Air Protection Program (CAPP), regional air districts and the California Air Resources Board are required to work with disadvantaged communities across the state and the Valley to implement additional emissions reporting, monitoring and air pollution reduction plans.

About this Project

California’s San Joaquin Valley (Valley) has historically been ground-zero for environmental, social and economic injustice. The Valley is home to the worst air pollution in the nation; Valley cities continuously dominate the top five most polluted in the nation. Air pollution is a serious health threat, with associated health outcomes exacerbated in disadvantaged communities. Poor land-use planning, paired with social determinants of health, such as limited access to healthcare, language isolation and poverty, create barriers for community members to address health impacts and advocate for policy change.

In addition to the disproportionate adverse health impacts from air pollution, communities most impacted by pollution face barriers to achieving improved air quality in their communities, including lack of meaningful community engagement from agencies and lack of air quality monitoring in their communities so they too can be part of the measurable progress for the region. Assembly Bill 617 created the Community Air Protection Program (CAPP), which requires the California Air Resources Board and regional air districts to develop and implement additional emissions reporting, monitoring and reduction plans in an effort to reduce air pollution exposure in the most burdened disadvantaged communities.

AB 617 seeks to ensure that all Californians benefit equitably from the State’s air quality and climate efforts, especially those who live in the areas of California most severely impacted by air pollution. In order to continue to build the capacity of California communities to participate in developing and implementing AB 617 programs, CARB created the Community Air Grants (CAG) program.  The CAG program aims to provide support for community-based organizations (CBO) to participate in the AB 617 process and to build capacity to become active partners with government to identify, evaluate, and ultimately reduce air pollution and exposure to harmful emissions in their communities.

 

CCAC’s Community Air Grant provides disadvantaged communities assistance in both understanding the sources and health impacts of local air pollution and assessing the level of burden so residents can advocate for informed mitigation strategies. Here are some examples of the work CCAC and its’ grant partners, the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, are currently doing:

Health Risk Assessment
Analyzing local air pollution sources in communities across the Valley, including the review of criteria and toxic air pollutant emissions inventories to assess potential health risks associated with stationary sources and working with regulators to identify the best available control technologies to reduce emissions.
Community Education
Developing materials to educate community members and organizations about local sources of air pollution and the potential health risks they may pose, and educating residents living in CAPP communities (South Fresno and Shafter) about how they can be involved in the development of community air monitoring networks and community emissions reduction programs (CERP).
SJV EJ Steering Committee
Establishing the San Joaquin Valley EJ Steering Committee where leaders from environmental and social justice organizations across the Valley (17 CBOs) discuss the ongoing AB 617 process in South Fresno and Shafter (e.g. review strategies included in the draft CERPs), as well as participate in the and the design of a Valley-wide community-based air monitoring network and the development and review of community assessments for the second round of CAPP.
Community Air Monitoring Network
Implementing the SJV Community Air Monitoring Network to collect and display PM2.5 data in disadvantaged communities across the Valley, particularly those areas that are not located near existing regulatory monitors, and to collect ambient methane data in select communities that are more heavily impacted by sources of air pollution associated with oil and gas production and transport.

Developing Reduction plan in coordination with agenicies, etc

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