County Awarded $2.5M to Monitor Portside Air Pollution

For the first time, the county will monitor the air quality of neighborhoods along the San Diego Bay thanks to a multi-million-dollar state grant.

San Diego County’s Air Pollution Control District (APCD) was awarded $2.5 million from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help conduct air pollution monitoring, the county announced Friday.

The ambient air quality of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, and parts of National City, known as the Portside community, will be tracked by APCD. The county described ambient air as the air immediately surrounding people at street level.

APCD will also take steps to reduce air pollution, including using grants to incentivize surrounding businesses and residents to switch any machinery to low-emission diesel or electric engines.

A steering committee made up of members from the Portside community is assisting APCD in these efforts.

CARB’s program requires APCD to have its monitors running by July 1, though APCD began monitoring some of the Portside community’s air in March, according to the county.

APCD already started monitoring the air quality at Sherman Heights Elementary School, and it said it will monitor several more locations over the next several months.

CARB began funding air quality checks as part of its Community Air Protection Program, which began in 2017 to help areas near ports, rail yards, warehouses, and freeways. These areas may be more vulnerable to threats from air pollution, the county said.

The Portside community was one of the first 10 areas in all of California to be selected by CARB for this program.

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