Members of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Governing Board have approved plans to launch new incentive programs within the AB 617 communities of Shafter and Stockton. The District will partner with the Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin (SJ Housing Authority) to launch a car share program in the community of Stockton, and with the City of Shafter and Kern County to support road, sidewalk and bike lane improvements and transit vehicle replacement program in the community of Shafter.
The communities of Shafter and Stockton are two of four Valley communities prioritized by the District and subsequently selected by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as communities in the San Joaquin Valley to receive clean air resources available under AB 617. The Governing Board-approved Community Emissions Reduction Programs (CERP) for each of these communities include dedicated AB 617 funding for a variety of innovative incentive measures aimed at reducing air pollution and exposure to harmful pollutants. The development and implementation of these CERPs are guided by local community members and partner agencies through their input and involvement on Community Steering Committees (CSC).
In the Stockton AB 617 community, the District’s additional $1,000,000 of funding will leverage existing San Joaquin County Jobs Plus grant awarded to the SJ Housing Authority to implement a new car sharing program for the community. The funding will be used to purchase nine electric vehicles and 13 electric vehicle charging stations, to be placed at affordable housing sites in the Stockton AB 617 community, and available to residents at a discounted cost.
“The rideshare program will also greatly benefit the community members with an opportunity to advance local green career pathways…the rideshare program will work with the EV technicians program at San Joaquin Delta College,” stated Esperanza Vielma, Stockton CSC member and Executive Director of the Environmental Coalition for Water. “The program is a win-win for all those involved, especially our residents.”
In the Shafter AB 617 community, CSC members identified opportunities to reduce dust from paved and unpaved roads and worked closely with the District, City of Shafter and Kern County to prioritize two road paving and sidewalk improvement projects within the community. These projects, one along State Route 43 in the City of Shafter and the other in the unincorporated community of Mexican Colony, will significantly reduce road dust emissions and reduce exposure to residents while facilitating safe, alternate modes of transportation with the construction of dedicated bicycle lanes and new sidewalks. The District will enter into agreements with the City of Shafter and Kern County for the work and provide up to $2,500,000 in funding.
The AB 617 Community Air Protection Program is designed to improve quality of life for the state’s most disadvantaged communities through community-led efforts to identify and address local air pollution concerns. This program, funded through California Climate Investments, brings more resources to the District’s longstanding efforts to develop and implement regulatory and incentive-based clean air and exposure reduction strategies throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The program is guided by a steering committee in each community, comprised of residents, local environmental justice organizations, local business representatives, local and regional agencies, and other community stakeholders.
The CSC meets regularly with the District and CARB to help identify ways to implement actions outlined in the community-developed and state-approved CERPs. Through community programs approved to date, over $140 million of funding has been allocated for clean air investments in AB 617 communities.
The Valley Air District covers eight counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern. For additional information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit www.valleyair.org or call 559-230-6000.