The Community Emissions Reduction Program (CERP) has approved over $30 million in investments to reduce air pollution in the communities of Arvin and Lamont.
AB 617 has been working with the community of Arvin and Lamont for the past 16 months to be able to create measures that will help improve the air quality in these communities — a total of 31 measures have been implemented to help these communities.
These measures aim to reduce hazardous air pollutant impacts with approximately 136 tons of PM 2.5, 421 tons of NOx, and 161 tons of VOCs.
“We are targeting over 700 tons of reduction, and the community members are really focused on making sure that there will be emissions that will improve the air in Arvin and Lamont,” said Jessica Olsen, Director of Community Strategies and Resources.
The 31 measures will be taken to the California Air Resource Board in October to officially get them approved. As of right now, the implementation of measures can be started with certain measures.
One of the measures that can be started now would be changing agricultural equipment to zero-emission. Agriculture equipment is a big priority for the community members of Arvin and Lamont because there are a lot of agricultural fields around both communities.
Another measure that can be started right away would be doing outreach to inform community members about how to improve air quality and how they can help their communities. The outreach will be dedicated to talking to residents about how they can take measures to protect their houses, it also includes reaching out to schools to get schools involved as well.
There are a couple of priorities that the community is really focusing on to improve their community such as the use of pesticides.
AB 617 is working with the Department of Pesticides with the support and feedback that the community is providing such as providing monitoring for the use of pesticides for the safety of the community.
Another process that the community is prioritizing is to have community air monitoring. This will help community members and agencies understand what is impacting the air and what the community needs the most.
“We will continue working with the community on deploying and tracking within the boundaries so that we can start to understand what are the community impacts and how they are going to improve over time. We definitely see air quality improvement and hopefully, that leads to better health outcomes and certainly a better quality of life for the community,” said Olsen.
AB 617 will continue to have meetings with the community to be able to determine how these measures will be implemented. The community is engaging and learning how applications work and how monitoring works to be able to implement ideas to help their community.
AB 617 has worked hard with the community and partnerships to be able to get where they are. With community co-leads who have stepped up to lead, Arvin and Lamont have been able to establish what they need in their community. It has been a long journey toward this approval. It will now be the beginning of the process to start implementing these measures.
“We are grateful for the approval because before we even took it to the board we took it to the CSC and asked them to vote and it was unanimous. We are grateful of people recognizing the process, recognizing the report, and being supportive of all of this is and the focused effort coming to their community,” Olsen said.
Implementing all 31 measures will be a five-year process and the community, AB 617, and the partnerships will continue to work together to help improve the air quality of Arvin and Lamont.