SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board approved today the implementation guidelines to distribute the overall $1 billion of Proposition 1B, passed by voters in 2006.
Governor Schwarzenegger signed the 2007-08 budget which contains the first installment of $250 million for air quality improvement projects.
"With this funding, Californians will make a significant down payment on cleaning up one of the last and most serious sources of air pollution-the downside of our economic success as a gateway for trade. Communities along the path of goods movement have for too long been hit hardest," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "As these funds begin to roll out in the coming months, we will see cleaner trucks, cleaner locomotives, and cleaner port and truck terminal operations. State funds will be matched by fees imposed by the ports to speed up the introduction of new equipment and retrofit older trucks with state-of-the art pollution controls."
Bond monies will go to four major regions for goods movement-related projects affecting the state's trade corridors. Funding targets to each corridor are based on population, goods movement emissions and federal attainment needs to focus bond monies on the areas most heavily impacted by freight-related pollution. The ARB approved the staff recommended allocation of funds as follows:
Since this program looks at the trade corridors as part of a single goods movement system for California, local agencies administering bond monies will fund projects based on the total emission reductions expected in the entire state, not just in their local area.
Within the approved guidelines, ARB will aim for different funding categories as follows:
During today's hearing, the ARB also approved allocations for the $25 million early grants, funding originated by Proposition 1B. The monies for this part of the program will be distributed among the local air districts in Los Angeles/Inland Empire ($13.8M), Central Valley ($6.5M), Bay Area ($3.4M) and San Diego/Border ($1.3M). This translates into the upgrade of over 1,000 trucks through retrofit or replacement with cleaner technology.
Emissions from goods movement result in significant human health risks and adverse environmental effects, particularly when such sources operate near already heavily-impacted communities located in the state's trade corridors. Goods movement pollution contributed to 2,400 premature deaths in California in 2005.
ARB estimates that the distribution of $1 billion in bond monies to the approved source categories will decrease harmful emissions by about 7,800 tons of diesel particulate matter and 190,000 tons of nitrogen oxides. Diesel particulate matter has been identified by ARB as a toxic air contaminant, and nitrogen oxides contribute to regional ozone and particle levels that exceed state and federal air quality standards.
The emission reductions will also provide co-benefits by decreasing greenhouse gases and black carbon soot that contribute to climate change (approximately 1.3 million of carbon dioxide).
For more information on the Proposition 1B: Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program, please visit www.arb.ca.gov/gmbond.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.