SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District announced today that it is seeking community input on air quality concerns and projects to reduce diesel exhaust pollution, as part of a new state initiative called the Community Air Protection program.
Recent state legislation — Assembly Bill (AB) 617 — directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish this statewide program to reduce exposure in areas most affected by air pollution. The goal is to collect input from communities, and prioritize reducing air pollution in the state’s most polluted communities through several strategies, including targeted investments in cleaner technologies.
In Santa Barbara County, the District expects to receive grant funding through this program and is seeking community input on what types of grant projects will benefit the community. The grants will involve replacing diesel engines and equipment — such as in heavy-duty on-road vehicles like school buses, trash trucks, and transit buses, in agricultural tractors, and in construction equipment — with cleaner versions. These grant projects will reduce pollution from vehicles and equipment that are not yet required to reduce their pollution. The District plans to have a booth at the following community events to seek input:
· Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, April 21-22
· Lompoc SpringFest, April 21
· Guadalupe Earth Day, April 22
· Santa Barbara Eastside Disaster Readiness Fair, April 28
· Santa Maria Rodeo Parade Street Fair, June 2 (tentative)
After receiving input, District staff will share the community feedback received and recommend the types of projects to fund at the District’s Board of Directors meeting in June.
Community members who are unable to provide input at the above events can answer some questions on the District website: www.OurAir.org/community-air. Questions are available in English and Spanish.