A Path to Clean Air
Communities in the Richmond-San Pablo area, east of San Francisco, live with a large oil refinery, a port with coal facilities and other heavy industries. And they suffer disproportionately from air pollution. California’s state-mandated Community Air Protection Program helps communities monitor elevated air pollution levels so they can develop emission reduction plans. This area was the state’s first to participate in the program, sometimes called AB 617.
The community-based approach required design, culturally-relevant facilitation, consensus-building and decision-making support for the Monitoring Plan Steering Committee. This diverse committee includes 35 representatives of environmental groups, community organizations, health equity organizations, industry, businesses and other partners who are helping develop the plan. A Co-Lead Team—a group of five community leaders—drives the process to ensure that the meetings are engaging, inclusive and community-driven.
A highly interactive community summit, Path to Clean Air, attracted youth, people of color, limited-English proficient individuals and low-income residents—people who are often underrepresented due to language, cultural or geographic barriers. Community members learned about the progress to-date and offered input on the initial monitoring objectives.
We’ll continue to provide multi-faceted support to the Steering Committee until the Monitoring Plan is completed. Data collected from the Monitoring Plan will inform future community-based emissions reduction plans for the Richmond-San Pablo area.