Coachella Valley to Receive $53 Million for Air Pollution
|February 7, 2012
Environmental Justice Areas Designated
The South Coast Air Quality Management District today approved a request for
proposals for $53 million in air pollution reduction projects in the
Funding for the projects comes from air pollution mitigation fees paid by
operators of the CPV Sentinel Energy Project, a power plant now under
construction in Desert Hot Springs.
Although not required by legislation that facilitated the mitigation
funding, AQMD’s Governing Board today voted unanimously to allocate 100% of
funding to projects in the Coachella Valley.
"Keeping 100 percent of the Sentinel air pollution-mitigation funds in the
Coachella Valley is the right thing to do. I commend my fellow Board members
for their understanding and support for our valley," said AQMD Board member
and Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit, who represents the Coachella
Valley and all of eastern Riverside County. "These mitigation funds now
present a unique opportunity, exclusively within the Coachella Valley, to
improve our air quality."
AQMD staff will offer workshops and meetings during the next four months to
assist community groups and others in preparing proposals for consideration.
AB 1318, co-authored by Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez and Supervisor Benoit
and adopted in 2009, allowed for the sale of emission credits from AQMD’s
internal emission credit bank for the construction and operation of the
Sentinel Energy Project. Under the legislation, the mitigation fees received
by AQMD are to be used for emission reduction projects as follows:
• At least 30 percent must be spent on projects in environmental justice
• At least 30 percent must be spent on projects in close proximity to the
plant, defined as within a six-mile radius from the facility; and
• The remaining 40 percent can be spent on emission reduction projects at
As part of today’s action, AQMD designated environmental justice areas in
the Coachella Valley. An environmental justice area is defined as having at
least 10 percent of the population living in poverty, based on the 2000
census, and a high level of particulate matter (PM10).
Proposals will be evaluated by AQMD based on their achievement of AQMD’s air
quality goals; job creation within the Coachella Valley, proponents’
expertise and other criteria. AQMD’s Governing Board will award contracts to
the top-ranked proposals.
Examples of potential emission reduction projects include school bus and
heavy-duty truck retrofit or replacement, truck stop electrification, school
air filtration systems, renewable-energy power projects, and infrastructure
improvements such as paving dirt roads, developing parkways and installing
electric vehicle charging or compressed natural gas fueling stations. AQMD
also encourages other proposals that result in emissions reductions.
To download a copy of the request for proposals, visit www.aqmd.gov after
February 8th. The deadline to submit a proposal is June 8 at 5 p.m.
In other action today, AQMD approved $5.3 million to replace 72 diesel trash
collection trucks and 41 heavy-duty diesel goods movement trucks with new
natural gas trucks. The new trucks will operate in various areas throughout
the Southland. Combined, the new natural gas trash and goods movement trucks
will eliminate 71.4 tons per year of nitrogen oxide emissions and 2.47 tons
per year of PM emissions.
Funding for the truck replacement projects comes from the Prop. 1B Goods
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major
portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
This page updated:
February 07, 2012