EL CENTRO, Calif. - The first community air quality monitor coming from Assembly Bill 617 project is out and local agencies are calling it a major step forward in the fight against air pollution.
Christian Torres, Comite Civico del Valle, said, “This air monitor that we installed at the local air district’s office is the first of the 15 that we are proposing to install during AB-617 implementation here in Imperial [Valley], between Calexico, Heber and El Centro.”
The monitor is part of a real-time alert system connected to Comite Civico’s air quality program IVAN.
“Within 12 months, the committee’s decide that we have to meet the deadline of installing all 15 of the community monitors, with the regulatory monitors being handled by the air district at a different pace. We need to stay on track so that we can be the ones leading this, so we can aim for all that funding that the state has available,” Torres said.
The new air quality program could prove to be critical for schools and for families suffering respiratory conditions.
Matt Desert, Air Pollution Control District, said, “These neighborhood monitors take a look at what’s going on at a more granular basis, more in the neighborhoods.”
He said the local area is highly impacted by bad air quality.
“Historical Asthma problem rates that have continued to go up. Our air quality is of concern primarily because we are surrounded by the desert. In addition to that, fully recognizing the good relationship that we need to have with Mexico, our air is impacted by that million, million and a half population,” Desert said.
Local agencies and community meet monthly to decide the areas of high pollution concern. They said this first monitor shows their meetings are working and producing results.
For more information, Comite Civico del Valle can be contacted at www.ccvhealth.org.