Air quality issues and strategies in the San Joaquin Valley
By Anthony Presto, Outreach & Communications – San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
Air quality challenges in the San Joaquin Valley are unmatched by any other region in the nation. Due to its unique geography, topography, and meteorology, meeting federal health-based air quality standards is a daunting task.
Since 1992, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has implemented a variety of some of the most ambitious air pollution control strategies in the nation. A wide-range of measures, including regulations, public education and outreach, and robust incentive programs to deploy clean-air technologies have resulted in significant reductions of particulate matter emissions and ground-level ozone.
Despite many air quality improvements, we still have a long way to go in order to reach our clean-air goals.
As we continue to search for additional strategies to reduce emissions Valley-wide, we also continue to invest millions of dollars in grants and incentives where we do not have regulatory authority.
The Valley Air District offers grants to assist businesses, agricultural operators, public agencies and Valley residents to replace older, higher-polluting vehicles and other equipment, with new, clean technologies. Listed here are some of the programs currently offered:
Clean Green Yard Machines – Residential: Provides two flexible options for rebates to Valley residents. Replace an old gas-powered lawn mower with a new electric lawn mower or purchase new electric powered landscape equipment for your yard. Details: www.valleyair.org/grants/cgym.htm.
Clean Green Yard Machines – Commercial: Provides incentives for up to 70 percent of the replacement cost of landscape maintenance equipment to lawn care providers, from gas/diesel equipment to electric. The program is open to public agencies and private landscaping businesses in the San Joaquin Valley. Details: http://valleyair.org/grants/cgym-commercial.htm.
Drive Clean in the San Joaquin Rebate Program: Provides rebates to Valley residents and businesses of up to $3,000 on the purchase or lease of new, clean-air vehicles. Details: http://valleyair.org/drivecleaninthesanjoaquin/rebate/.
Burn Cleaner Program: Helps reduce particulate matter from older wood-burning devices that contribute significantly to air pollution in the Valley during the Fall and Winter months. Burn Cleaner provides from $1,000 to $3,000 when upgrading from an open-hearth fireplace or older, non-certified wood stove to a certified wood/pellet or natural gas device. Details: http://www.valleyair.org/grants/apps/burncleaner/Home.
ChargeUp!: This Program provides funding for public agencies, businesses, and property owners of multi-unit dwellings, such as apartment complexes in the San Joaquin Valley, to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers to support existing EV owners and encourage the growth of clean technology in the Valley. The program provides up to $5,000 for single port, Level 2 chargers and as much as $50,000 for up to 10 charging ports. Details: http://valleyair.org/grants/chargeup.htm.
Truck Replacement Program: Provides assistance with the replacement of heavy duty diesel trucks with zero and near-zero emissions technology. Details: http://valleyair.org/grants/truck-replacement.htm.
For further information on these and other grants available from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit www.valleyair.org/grants or call 559-230-5800.