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AQMD Awards $5.7 Million from BP Penalty Settlement for Air Quality Projects

April 7, 2006

From 2005 BP Air Pollution Settlement

Drawing from a major air pollution penalty settlement, the Southland’s air pollution control agency today awarded $5.7 million to 18 public health and air quality-related projects, from asthma clinics to mobile air monitors.

Today’s programs are one benefit of a penalty settlement reached last year between the South Coast Air Quality Management District and BP West Coast Products LLC for alleged air pollution violations at the firm’s Carson refinery.

“These projects will provide significant air quality and health benefits in communities surrounding BP’s refinery as well as across the region,” said William Burke, Ed.D., AQMD’s Governing Board Chairman.

AQMD’s Governing Board approved the projects today at the conclusion of a public study session.  Since last fall, AQMD has conducted five community meetings and one previous Board study session to receive public input on the community projects.  The agency received a total of 255 written proposals with requested funding of nearly $81 million.  AQMD staff recommended selection of today’s projects based on individual merit, compatibility with AQMD Board objectives, feasibility of the proposals and other factors.

Some of the programs approved today include $1.93 million for four asthma diagnosis, treatment and education programs (one each in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties); $1 million to extend a program offering financial assistance for dry cleaners to switch to non-toxic cleaning equipment; $400,000 for mobile air monitoring stations and $130,000 for a “reverse 911 system” in Carson to alert residents of hazardous materials releases.

A complete list of the proposals awarded follows below.

In a related action, AQMD’s Board today approved $1.05 million for an innovative pilot project to install sophisticated air filters in rooms at three elementary schools near the BP refinery, other industrial facilities and freeways in the Carson-Long Beach area.  The filters will provide clean air in specially outfitted rooms at Hudson Elementary School in Long Beach and Dominguez and Del Amo elementary schools in Carson in the event of an acute release of refinery gases.  The Board also approved an additional $350,000 to install fence-line air quality monitors at one refinery to determine whether they are an effective tool for alerting the public of air pollution releases.  The program is funded by AQMD’s Rule 1173 mitigation fees, which allow oil refineries to pay a mitigation fee for major hydrocarbon releases in lieu of installing specific vapor recovery equipment.

A separate fund from the BP settlement will allocate $3 million per year, starting this year for 10 years, for community benefit projects in the Wilmington-Long Beach area and across the region.  Projects already approved for funding in the first year include:

  • $2 million to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of Southern California for four Breathmobile mobile asthma clinics (one each for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, plus an additional Breathmobile in Los Angeles County in the second year); and
  • $325,000 per year for the American Lung Association and Breathe California for asthma education and outreach programs.

In addition, AQMD has recommended $675,000 to help fund a collaborative effort by St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, the Children’s Clinic and the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma for in-home and clinic-based asthma treatment and education for patients in and around the Carson area.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Projects Funded by AQMD from BP Settlement Funds 

Project

Lead Agency/Organization

Funding

Provide financial incentives to replace dry cleaning machines with non-toxic equipment

Korean Dry Cleaners & Laundry Association

$1,000,000

Two-year childhood asthma program

Riverside County Dept. of Public Health

$500,000

Breathmobile asthma care and education

Children's Hospital of Orange County

$500,000

Coordinated Asthma Referral and Education (CARE) program

San Bernardino County Dept Public Health

$500,000

Electronic hand-held equipment for field Inspection of facilities

AQMD

$500,000

Support for urban forest management and tree planting

California Urban Forests Council

$450,000

Clinic services for children with asthma

Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma

$430,000

Portable air monitoring stations

AQMD

$400,000

Mobile pediatric clinic for under- and uninsured children in South Bay area

Little Company of Mary Community Health Foundation

$250,000

Air pollution & asthma research

AQMD Asthma Consortium

$250,000

Remote emissions sampling & cameras at refineries

AQMD

$200,000

Remote sensing devices near refineries

AQMD

$150,000

Train 1,000 teachers in Clean Air Challenge curriculum

Clean Air Now

$140,000

Reverse 9-1-1 system to notify residents of hazardous materials releases

City of Carson

$130,000

Middle school air quality curriculum

Think Earth Environmental Education Foundation

$100,000

Enhance smog day notifications for schools

AQMD

$100,000

Provide air quality technical assistance to community groups

Communities for a Better Environment/California Environmental Rights Alliance

$60,000

Healthy Start Community Center (two-year funding)

Lennox Unified School District

$50,000

Total

 

$5,710,000.00

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