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AQMD Announces Draft Recommendations for more than $50 Million in Projects to Reduce Emissions in Coachella Valley

Oct. 5, 2012

AQMD Received 75 Proposals Totaling $380 Million

Following an extensive competitive bid review process, Southland air quality officials have recommended that 20 proposals for emission-reduction projects in the Coachella Valley receive more than $50 million in funding.  They include solar and wind power installations, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, Parkway 1e11, air filters for classrooms, paving of dirt roads and other projects.

These innovative measures will help improve air quality and protect public health in the Coachella Valley, said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). They also will create jobs and contribute to community improvements in the area.

AQMDs Administrative Committee will review AQMD staff recommendations for funding at a public meeting on Oct. 16 in Palm Desert. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the Coachella Valley Water District at 75-515 Hovley Lane East. Funding recommendations from AQMDs Administrative Committee will be considered for approval at AQMDs regular monthly meeting on Nov. 2.

AQMD staffs funding recommendations, as well as all proposals submitted, can be viewed at on an online database. A summary of recommended projects is shown below.

AQMD received 75 project proposals that requested a total of more than $375 million.  Approximately $132 million were for solar projects, $41 million for alternative fueled vehicles and infrastructure, $22.5 million for classroom air filters, $27 million for paving dirt roads, $12.5 million for gardens, $20.5 million for weatherization and $121 million for other types of measures.

Funding for the projects comes from $53.3 million paid by Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. to the AQMD for emissions offsets needed to construct and operate CPVs Sentinel power plant, now under construction in Desert Hot Springs. AB 1318 (V. M. Perez) requires that funds be spent on emission reductions in the following areas:

     At least 30 percent in environmental justice areas, defined by AQMD as communities with at least 10 percent of residents living below the federal poverty level that also have high particulate matter (PM10) levels;

       At least 30 percent on projects in close proximity to the plant, defined by AQMD as within a six-mile radius from the facility; and

       The remaining 40 percent in any location within AQMDs four-county jurisdiction. While not required by AB 1318, AQMDs Board decided earlier this year to dedicate this entire amount to projects in the Coachella Valley.

A panel of three air quality technical experts scored each proposal according to the following criteria:



Experience and expertise of proposer


Aids in achievement of AQMDs regional air quality goals in Coachella Valley


Job creation within the Coachella Valley


Effective use of funds


Secondary benefits, other than jobs


Community/government support




In addition, projects were awarded extra points if they qualified as a small business, local business or disabled veteran business. AQMD staff will recommend a ranking of proposals to its Board that places public agencies including cities, counties and school districts on an equal basis with local businesses with respect to extra points received.

AQMD released a request for proposals in February with a deadline to submit them by June 8. During that period, AQMD conducted extensive outreach on the proposal process including two bidders workshops and eight sessions where potential bidders could meet one-on-one with AQMD staff experts to learn more about how to submit a proposal.

Up to five percent of the $53.3 million in mitigation funding will be used by AQMD for its cost of administering the contracts.

Projects recommended for funding by AQMD staff
Listed in order of score, with highest first

Project Proponent

Project Type

Recommended Award

Border Valley Trading

Liquefied natural gas (LNG)/compressed natural gas (CNG) stations


Renova Energy

Solar panels at a facility in Thousand Palms


County of Riverside

Paving and dust control at mobile home park


City of Desert Hot Springs

CNG vehicles and station upgrade


Coachella Valley USD

Air filtration systems at Mecca and Saul Martinez elementary schools in Mecca


Sun Power

Solar panels at College of the Desert


City of Coachella

CNG station/solar carport


Desert Sands Unified School District

CNG station upgrade


City of Palm Springs

Solar panel installations at city buildings


IQ Air

Air filtration for 49 schools in EJ areas



Parkway 1e11


Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians

Paving and dust control at headquarters, senior center and health center


Mountain View Solar

Grid-based solar project


VPI Enterprises

Refurbish and upgrade wind turbines


Sun Wize

Solar panels at Boys and Girls Clubs



Paving of access roads for industrial complex and parking lot on Cabazon Band of Mission Indians land


City of Coachella

Signal synchronization


City of Desert Hot Springs

Dust control in populated areas and parking lot of Cabots Museum


St. Elizabeth's of Hungary Food Pantry

CNG Vehicles for food delivery


Mission Springs Water District

3 MW solar project




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


This page updated: October 11, 2012