On August 3, 2018, the Chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), presented a $492,269 check to Casa Familiar to fund a program to collect air quality data, share it with local, state, and federal stakeholders, and create future solutions to improve air quality in this border community.
The grant is one of 28 grants totaling $10 million as part of CARB’s statewide Community Air Grants program, funded by California cap-and-trade revenues. California’s cap-and-trade, market-based regulations sets a firm cap on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), a cap that is decreased 3 percent each year to help the state reach 1990 emissions levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The trading of capped GHG allowances encourages investments in clean technology and innovation.
Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, AB 617 requires the state to implement a new community-focused approach to measuring and improving air quality and reducing exposure to toxic air pollutants at the neighborhood level. This first of-its-kind effort involves collaborating with local residents and air districts to identify pollution sources of concern, develop solutions, and track progress together.
CARB’s Community Air Grants help community-based organizations build capacity to participate in the AB 617 process and to become active partners in identifying, evaluating, and ultimately reducing exposure to harmful air emissions.
For Casa Familiar, the CARB grant is an opportunity to address long-standing concerns for air quality that are unique to San Ysidro.
“Our immediate proximity to the busiest land border crossing in the world makes San Ysidro a special place, but it also creates special air quality challenges for our communities,” said David Flores, Community Development Director for Casa Familiar. “This grant allows us to continue to expand the air quality monitoring program that we started many years ago with the help of San Diego State University, University of Washington, and California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and to share its data with agencies and San Ysidro residents to develop collaborative solutions.”
The grant will support the existing network of 12 air quality sensors in the San Ysidro border region, expand that network to 24, and fund the addition of 100 new ultra-low cost Particulate Matter sensors in 50 new locations to collect indoor-outdoor data and share that data with the community, CARB, the San Diego Air Pollution Control District, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The data will help to better understand air quality impacts from vehicular border crossings while supporting local jobs and training for air monitoring, identification of air pollution hotspots and episodes, and increased dialog with air quality stakeholders to reduce air pollution in San Ysidro.
Casa Familiar expects to share new data with air quality stakeholders in 2019.
This article originally appeared on La Prensa San Diego’s website. To read the full article, please visit: http://laprensa-sandiego.org/featured/south-county-non-profit-receives-492000-grant-from-the-california-air-resources-board-to-improve-air-quality/