State approves community emissions reduction program
EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Cleaner air may be in sight for Imperial County residents.
On Wednesday the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a new emissions reduction program under Assembly Bill 617 (AB617).
The bill is a "Community Air Protection Program" aimed at reducing exposure in communities most impacted by air pollution.
In CARB's 50-year history, it had never been to El Centro.
Community members, such as Jose Luis Olmede from the Comite Civico del Valle and County Supervisor Ryan Kelley shared air quality concerns with the board and spoke out in support of the program.
"As those members make decisions based off the entire state, they’ve got to visit and see the conditions here in Imperial Valley, the cooperation that’s being done between local industry, community groups and the air pollution control district”, said Kelley.
Officials took the time on Wednesday to tour areas of concern such as the Salton Sea and New River before the meeting.
Kelley said the board’s visit will help them better understand the emission hazards the community faces on a daily basis.
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia of the 56th District is co-author of AB617. He says an important aspect of the bill is community involvement, as drivers of solutions to problems that are impacting air quality.
CARB officials say this is just the starting line for much work ahead.
For more information, visit the Imperial County air pollution control district’s website at www.co.imperial.ca.us/airpollution.