Valley’s air pollution control district receives $1.5 to improve air quality

The view from Three Rivers on a crystal-clear winter’s day, the time of year when air quality is the best.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1,466,886 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help improve air quality and reduce risks to human health and the environment in its Central California region.

“We are pleased to support our valued partner, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, with these grant funds to control air pollution,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “I look forward to supporting the District as we work with business, agriculture, and the public to make Valley air healthier for everyone.”

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will use the funds to support a range of activities, including air permitting and planning, environmental compliance, and air quality monitoring. This grant will also help carry out Clean Air Act regulations and other related program activities. 

“With the tough air quality challenges facing the San Joaquin Valley, grant programs such as this are essential to developing and implementing the strategies needed to continue improving the Valley’s air,” said Executive Director/Air Pollution Control Officer Samir Sheikh.  “We appreciate the EPA’s continued commitment to the Valley and our residents.”

This award is provided under Section 105 of the Clean Air Act authorizing EPA to provide grants to air pollution control agencies, which include local agencies with responsibility for enforcing laws related to preventing and controlling air pollution.
The view from Three Rivers in the fall when air is stagnant and traps pollutants in the canyon.

SJVAPCD challenges

It’s not easy being an air pollution control district in California’s Central Valley and Sierra foothills regions. Here’s why:

Air quality in the Los Angeles area is only marginally worse than the Valley’s although about 10 times more pollution is emitted in that region. The Bay Area’s air quality is much better than the Valley’s, even though about six times more pollution is released there.

Despite natural challenges such as the geography, topography, and meteorology of the San Joaquin Valley air basin, which create a haven for harboring air pollution, the Valley has worked its way up from non-attainment to attainment of several critical health standards.

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