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California to Receive $12.75 Million to Improve Air Quality in San Joaquin Valley, South Coast

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Nahal Mogharabi ( )

LOS ANGELES –Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded nearly $12.75 million in Targeted Airshed Grants to the South Coast Air Quality Management District and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help tackle some of the country’s toughest air quality challenges. A total of $30 million in Targeted Airshed Grants will fund nine projects in Alaska, California, and Utah.

“These grants will enable states and local agencies to improve air quality in areas most affected by air pollution,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA is committed to supporting clean air projects that will reduce air pollution in nonattainment areas and enhance public health.”

“Despite significant efforts, the South Coast and San Joaquin air basins still experience some of the worst air quality in the nation,” said EPA Acting Region 9 Administrator Alexis Strauss. “We are pleased to continue working with our partners on projects that will help further improve air quality and public health in these areas.”

“These grants will help make improvements to equipment that our local farmers and ranchers use every day to put food on the table for families here in the San Joaquin Valley and across America,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10).

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will receive $6,369,750 to replace 29 diesel- and gas-fueled shuttle buses at airports in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties with zero-tailpipe-emission battery-electric models manufactured in Southern California. SCAQMD will also use the funds to replace 79 old diesel school buses in the LA Unified School District’s fleet with models fueled by compressed natural gas that will reduce fine particulate emissions by 98.5 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 97.8 percent.  

“The funds are a great investment in our agency’s collective efforts to help reduce students’ and residents’ exposure to harmful vehicle exhaust,” said SCAQMD Executive Officer Wayne Nastri.  “Collaboration with EPA will enhance our efforts to clean the air in school districts in communities most heavily affected by air pollution.”

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) will receive $6,369,750 to replace 144 older diesel trucks with newer trucks that run 80-90 percent cleaner. SJVAPCD will also use the funds to replace 237 older agricultural tractors with those that meet the latest Tier 4 emissions standards.   

“We greatly appreciate EPA’s attention and care for the health of Valley residents,” said SJVAPCD Pollution Control Officer and Executive Director Seyed Sadredin. “This grant from EPA will help us with our enormous challenge to reduce emissions from mobile sources, which make up 85% of the pollution in the San Joaquin Valley.”

EPA’s Targeted Airshed Grants are used to support local clean air projects in areas facing the highest levels of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), commonly known as smog and soot. In the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress funded the grants at $30 million to reduce air pollution in nonattainment areas that the Agency determined were ranked as the top five most polluted areas relative to ozone, annual PM2.5, or 24-hour PM2.5 standards.

More information about the grants:

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