Congressman Jim Costa today announced $2.38 million in funding for air quality improvement projects in Kern County. The money, funded through the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and other sources will result in cleaner air and improved public health.
Improving air quality is a critical issue for our Valley and nation, said Congressman Jim Costa. This money will invest in our communities by funding projects that benefit Valley families and our entire economy. I am pleased that these federal tax dollars are returning to our region to deliver the air quality improvements our children and residents need.
The over $2 million in funding will go to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and the California Air Resources Board to fund projects in Kern County, including replacing school buses, long-haul trucks, and agriculture and construction equipment.
Specifically, the funds will provide:
$540,000 to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools to replace six 1987-89 model year school buses with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses.
$240,000 to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools for replacing five diesel buses with CNG and/or propane school buses.
$1,600,000 to San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) for cleaner air demonstration and deployment technologies through the Districts Technology Advancement Program, which will be targeted in the Southern Valley.
"Since 2007, $780,000 in EPA funds has been used to acquire buses powered by clean-burning, alternative fuels which benefit our students and community," said Kern County Superintendent of Schools Christine Lizardi Frazier.
More information on the funding.
Given the Valleys enormous air-quality challenges, strong grant programs such as this are needed to complement our comprehensive regulatory program, said Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Incentive programs are critical to get the Valley into attainment as quickly as possible.
In total, these retrofits will result in the reduction of more than 1,800 tons of particulate matter, over 37,000 tons of nitrous oxide (NOx) and close to 3 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. In addition, because of the reduced particulate matter, public health will benefit, resulting in an estimated cost savings of over $146 million, from reduced medical needs, lost school and work days, and premature mortality.
Information Provided By Congressman Jim Costa's Office
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