IMPERIAL COUNTY — The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD) that one application submitted to EPA’s 2019 and 2020 Targeted Airshed Grant (TAG) Program was selected for funding. EPA is awarding a component of the ICAPCD’s application for the PM2.5 Emissions Reduction Project: Paving Lots and Alleyways, for the City of Calexico’s Residential Alleyways in the amount of $3,350,371, according to the press release.

The TAG Program assists local air pollution control agencies with funding to develop plans and implement projects to reduce air pollution in the in the Nation’s areas with the highest levels of ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations. The ICAPCD was eligible to apply to the TAG Program due to Imperial County’s designation as a PM 2.5 Nonattainment Area for the 2012 annual standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter. The ICAPCD will utilize the funding to pave identified unpaved residential alleyways in the Calexico to significantly reduce PM2.5 emissions, which adversely affect the health of residents.

The successful awarding of the funds is part of the ICAPCD’s larger effort to obtain and leverage funding for implementing air emissions reduction projects for the Imperial County AB 617 Community Corridor of El Centro-Heber-Calexico (Corridor). CARB established the Community Air Protection Program (CAP Program) per AB 617 to reduce exposure to air pollution in disproportionately burdened communities in California, through implementing state-wide strategies and community-specific reduction programs. The ICAPCD formed a partnership with local environmental justice organization, Comite Civico del Valle (CCV), to nominate the Corridor and establish a Community Steering Committee (CSC). The project will assist with reducing air emissions and exposure to residents in Calexico, an area heavily burdened by local pollution sources, traffic emissions at port of entries, and the transport of pollution over the border from Mexicali, thereby supporting the goals of the AB 617 CAP Program.

“The Imperial County has come a long way in improving air quality, but there is a lot more work that needs to be done,” said Imperial County Air Pollution Control Officer Matt Dessert. “I am proud that this grant will help all of us continue the fight for cleaner air for the residents of our binational border region.”

The ICACPD will work closely with the City of Calexico to finalize project plans and fully implement the paving project that will result in lasting emissions reductions for Imperial County.

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