Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s Policy Vision Unfolds as Eastern Coachella Valley Named Eligible for Significant CA Air Quality Investments

Friday, December 13, 2019

CA Air Resources Board incorporates Eastern Coachella Valley into AB 617 Community Air Protection Program

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia speaking at CA Air Resources Board Meeting

(SACRAMENTO, CA) — Today, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) efforts to include the Eastern Coachella Valley as a designated AB 617 Community Air Protection Program site proved successful before the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  AB 617, was part of the groundbreaking air quality and carbon pollution bill package authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia in 2017 which put environmentally vulnerable and historically underserved areas, like those in Garcia’s district, in positions to play a leading role in determining the direction of our state’s emission reduction investments. 

 

This CARB action follows the return of Assemblymember Garcia from the United Nations, COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid, where the California delegation was able to showcase this innovative community-led emission reduction and air monitoring program on the global stage.

 

“After a concerted effort, I am excited that our Eastern Coachella Valley area will join Imperial County as eligible for the AB 617 Community Air Protection Program grants. With this victory, we are steps closer to seeing our initial policy vision unfold – empowering our communities with the ability to combat pollution and significantly improve their public health outlook. Our residents will now be able to directly steer greater state investments home towards solutions that they themselves identify as best fitting our region’s unique air quality and public health concerns,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, CARB Ex Officio Member.

 

“This innovative model for community engagement was a cornerstone of California’s policy platform at the United Nations Climate Conference where our state once again demonstrated our commitment to uplifting our most environmentally vulnerable, and historically underserved communities that are being hit the hardest by climate consequences.”

 

“While celebrating this success I have asked that the California Air Resources Board bring together both of our local air districts to build strategic capacity to cover the existing air quality gaps for our shared Salton Sea region.”

 

CARB’s actions on December 13, 2019, are part of the state’s ongoing commitment to address the disproportionate impacts of air pollution on disadvantaged communities. Dozens of residents and nonprofit organizations from the 56th Assembly District presented public comments in support of the designation as well as expressed appreciation for Assemblymember Garcia’s leadership. As part of the program, the Eastern Coachella Valley will now join Imperial County who was selected in the initial round of community designations last year.

 

Additional Information on the CARB Community Air Protection Program: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/community-air-protection-program

CARB 2019 Community Recommendations, Staff Report: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2019-11/2019_community_recommendations_staff_report_november_8.pdf

 

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Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.  He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.