There was a case study done on the Covanta Power Plant that shut down in 2016 due to the lack of state incentive programs to keep it operating. The results and data from this study showed high levels of pollutants such as PM2.5, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and total greenhouse gas emissions.
“An anonymous caller explained there was a haze on both sides of the freeway and a foul smell coming from the plant. There was filed violation, and from that funds were distributed towards communities like Pixley, etc. to do mitigation projects,” said Gustavo Aguirre, Climate and Environmental Justice Associate Director at Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC).
The CCAC representatives said this is why it is important to continuously do air monitoring and reporting as it could lead to more mitigation efforts in reducing air pollution within the community.
In this past meeting, the Central California Asthma Collaborative representatives did an interactive air quality activity where they asked residents questions in English and Spanish such as:
● Q1: What is your knowledge about pollution in particular PM 2.5?
● Q2: What are some focus areas around air pollution you would like to focus on such
as particulate matter, ozone, and how the monitors within the school district work?
● Q3: What are some goals you would like to have as an outcome for csc?
● Q4: Suggestions/Questions?
“We asked residents this to better understand how we can manage the meetings to be more resourceful and feasible for individuals to get information to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Sammie Meneses Climate and Environmental Justice Associate at CCAC.
CCAC also asked the community members their thoughts on starting a community steering committee.
The goal of the community steering committee works with the air district to define a specific goal for the Community Emission Reduction Program (CERP). The default is often: “To reduce and mitigate exposure to air pollutants.”
“Yes, the logistics of the community steering committee is asking the community
members how formal they would like the committee to be,” said Meneses. “As an example, some other steering committees have a charter that indicates a census from the committee, how meetings are conducted, and what are some roles for the members. This can include having a co-chair, a chair, etc.”
Meneses said the next steps are to continuously do outreach to the community for future meetings, start formalizing the community steering committee, and establish set dates and times for the next upcoming meetings as well as future topics such as a deep dive of particulate matter.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24 at 5:30 pm at Ellington Community Center, 925 Ellington Street Delano, CA, 93215 or you can join via Zoom at this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82856372725?pwd=Z1dhRnRIdUd3MmljVDBTRjN3WXdCZz09.