Regional Air Districts Awarded U.S. EPA Grant Funds For Particulate Matter Pollution Reduction Projects

Sacramento, Calif. – The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (Sac Metro Air District) will serve as a pass-through agency to assist El Dorado County Air Quality Management District, Placer County Air Pollution Control District, and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District with an award of more than $7 million in federal funding for clean air projects to reduce particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. The three Air Districts are contributing more than $6.5 million in cost share for a total infusion of more than $13.5 million to regional economies.

The U.S. EPA’s Targeted Airshed Program grant award will support new projects that reduce ambient PM2.5 pollution in several key areas: heavy duty vehicle electrification, agricultural equipment replacement, alternatives to open burning, low-dust harvesting equipment, and road dust. Funding will be available for projects that replace diesel school buses and high-emission agricultural or harvesting equipment, support road paving to mitigate entrainment of road dust, and incentivize residential biomass and agricultural chipping as an alternative to open burning.

Residents and businesses within in the jurisdictions of El Dorado County AQMD, Placer County APCD and Yolo-Solano AQMD will be eligible to apply for funding through their respective agencies. Road paving will occur on specific roadways in El Dorado County through a coordinated effort between El Dorado County AQMD and El Dorado County Transportation Department.

After considering past and current efforts, these projects were targeted by the Air Districts as the most efficient and effective strategies for achieving the greatest amount of additional PM2.5 emission reductions in the region. The Sacramento region currently does not meet all national ambient air quality standards. Thus, additional emission reductions are necessary to protect public health and reach attainment of the federal standards. Meeting these standards is necessary to protect public health and for the region to remain eligible for federal transportation dollars.

PM2.5 particles travel deeply into the respiratory tract and easily reach the lungs. Exposure to these particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Studies also suggest that long-term exposure to particle pollution results in increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and premature death from lung cancer and heart disease.

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