AQMD Adopts Plans to Reduce Pollution in Southeast L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The South Coast Air Quality Management District governing board today adopted plans designed to significantly reduce air pollution in two of the Southland's most impacted communities -- Southeast Los Angeles and Eastern Coachella Valley.

The two communities are part of the AB 617 program which requires the California Air Resources Board and local air districts to reduce emissions in communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution. The plans adopted were developed in close collaboration with those who live or work in the areas and focus on addressing air quality concerns in their neighborhoods.

The Southeast L.A. community's five-year plan aims to reduce pollution from stationary and mobile sources including trucks, metal processing, rendering and other industrial facilities; and make reducing community exposure to air pollution a top priority. As a result of these actions and other existing policies, NOx -- a precursor to ozone -- emissions in the community will ideally be reduced by 297 tons per year by 2030 and diesel particulate matter will be reduced by 3.5 tons per year by 2030.

The Eastern Coachella Valley community aims to reduce air pollution from the Salton Sea, pesticides, fugitive road dust, the Greenleaf Desert View Power Plant, diesel mobile sources, open burning and illegal dumping. By 2030, these actions and other existing policies will reduce NOx emissions in the ECV community by 45% per year, diesel particulate matter by 77% per year and PM10 by 2.4 tons per year.

Both communities face its own set of unique challenges, which is why the plans are tailored to meet the emissions-reduction goals of each community.

“We have worked tirelessly over the past two years to better understand the air quality concerns within these two communities,'' said Ben Benoit, South Coast AQMD's vice-chair. “Today's board action allows us to continue this process so that when finalized, these plans can provide both short- and long-term emissions reductions that can have lasting impacts to the health of those who live and work within these communities.''

The Community Emissions Reduction Plans include air quality priorities identified by the Community Steering Committees, which consist of members of the public who live, work or go to school within each community, including active residents, community leaders, local business owners or workers, community organizations, local agencies, schools, universities, hospitals, tribal organizations and elected officials.

The plans include specific actions that go beyond existing efforts by South Coast AQMD, to reduce air pollution emissions and/or exposures, including efforts to conduct community air monitoring, focused enforcement and outreach in these communities.

Photo: Getty Images

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