Documenter: Leonel Loera

Purpose of Agency

The San Joaquin Valley Air District is a public health agency whose mission is to improve the health and quality of life for all Valley residents through efficient, effective and entrepreneurial air quality management strategies. Our Core Values have been designed to ensure that our mission is accomplished through common sense, feasible measures that are based on sound science. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is made up of eight counties in California’s Central Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and  the San Joaquin Valley Air Basin portion of Kern. The Valley Air District is governed by a 15-member Governing Board consisting of representatives from the Board of Supervisors of all eight counties, one Health and Science member, appointed by the Governor, one Physician, appointed by the Governor and five Valley city representatives.

San Joaquin Valley Air District Board

  • Chair Supervisor, Craig Pedersen of Kings County

  • Vice Chair Lloyd Pareira of Merced County

  • Mayor Pro-Tem Alvaro Preciado of Avenal

  • Mayor Drew M. Bessinger of Clovis

  • Supervisor Vito Chiesa of Stanislaus County

  • Supervisor David Couch of Kern County

  • Councilmember Deborah Lewis of Los Banos

  • Supervisor Buddy Mendes of Fresno County

  • Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner of Central Valley Health Policy Institute

  • Mayor Monte Reyes of Porterville

  • Supervisor Robert Rickman of San Joaquin County

  • Dr Alexander C. Sheriffs of Fowler Adventist Health Community Care

  • Supervisor Amy Shuklian of Tulare County

  • Supervisor Tom Wheeler of Madera County

  • Councilmember Christina Fugazi of Stockton 

The Scene

Three members of the SJV Air District can be seen in the official chamber of their premises on video. They are socially distancing and two other members are wearing masks as part of COVID-19 guidelines. Supervisor Pedersen is the only member not wearing a mask. Other members are joining the zoom meeting from the safety and comfort of their own homes. 

After a roll call the district team proceeded to perform the pledge of allegiance. After that all members pass the consent calendar. They move onto public comment for items not on the agenda. 

Opening Non-Agenda Public Comments

  • Public comment begins with Connie Young, a Fresno resident and retired nurse. Young expresses concern about climate change and states that she wants to provide information regarding effects of climate change on air pollution and health. 

  • Young shares information on the Energy Innovation Act. Asks the District team to support the policy.

  • Public commenter Thomas Halmes responds to both previous comments and shares that members of non-profit groups are putting low cost Particulate Matter Monitors calibrated to be more accurate but they are not regulatory monitors like those from the District. Still being developed but is a project going on.

  • Public commenter Sabrina Lockhart responds to Young’s comment saying that California is not included in the report that she shared. Lockhart said this is because of California’s strictest air quality laws and policies in comparison to other states. 

  • Public commenter Janet Dietzkamei discusses climate change. She shares that agricultural workers are noticing weather pattern changes. Observes an increase in extreme weather events. Dietzkamei states hurricane seasons are extending, the polar vortex in Texas being unusual, and references the wildfire issues in California. Summers in California are hotter. Rain is decreasing. Pest control is causing problems for tree orchards because of these changes. 

    • “We need to stop being naysayers and look at the facts and look at what is happening regarding climate change,” Dietzkamei said.

  • Public commenter Matt Holmes takes a moment to celebrate the state’s economic innovation and history when it comes to taking early action on climate change efforts.

Once public comment was closed, it was announced that councilmember Deborah Lewis, Vice Chair Lloyd Pereira, and Councilmember Christina Fugazi have officially joined the meeting.

Pedersen introduces new board member, Deborah Lewis and gives her a few minutes to introduce herself to the team and community participants.

Deborah Lewis starts off by sharing that she’s always worked in public service. Lewis was born in New Orleans, raised in San Diego, and went to college at San Jose State University. She was also on the planning commission for Los Banos; Lewis was the first female to hold an elected office in Merced County. Lewis is now appointed by her county to serve on this board for the Air Pollution Control District. Lewis shares a couple fun facts about herself. One being that her son works for the Golden State Warriors, and that she learned to ride a motorcycle and owns a Harley-Davidson. 

Lewis thanks the team for having her and providing her time to share things about herself.

Chair Pedersen spoke about the recent passing of Board member Jerry O’Banion on February 12. Pedersen allows time for members to share grievances and memories working alongside O’Banion.

Supervisor Pareira said that he has worked the closest with O’Banion. He shares that O’Banion served 28 years on the Board and expresses fond memories of O’Banion taking on new Board members under his mentorship.

Pederson moves onto Item 7.

Item 7

Extend Agreement to Administer Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program Funds on Behalf of Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Presentation provided by Todd Deyoung, Director of Strategies and Incentives

  • State-funded voluntary incentive program named after the late Dr. Carl Moyer

  • Launched in 1998 and has provided over $1 billion in voluntary incentives statewide

  • Aimed at cost-effectively reducing emissions from mobile equipment and vehicles through equipment turnover and fleet modernization

  • Implemented by local air districts

  • District receives approximately $13 million in Carl Moyer Program funds per year

  • Since 1999, District has operated highly successful Heavy-Duty Engine Incentive Program utilizing Carl Moyer Program funds to reduce impacts of diesel emissions in the San Joaquin Valley – Funds equipment replacement, retrofits and repower to cleaner technology – Emission reductions are surplus to state or local regulations

  • District praised by CARB for administering highly efficient and effective incentive programs during most recent program audits

  • District has been approached by several neighboring air districts to either assist with administration of their Carl Moyer Program funds or accept unused funds as alternative to sending funds back to CARB – Mojave Desert AQMD, Antelope Valley AQMD, Tuolumne County APCD, Great Basin APCD

  • Since 2008, District has partnered with GBAPCD to accept their yearly
    allotment of Carl Moyer Program funds

    • Received more than $2.9 million in program funds

    • Includes both project and administrative funds

    • Most recent allotment was $225K and is increasing slightly each year

  • Recognizing that reducing air pollution in San Joaquin Valley benefits Great Basin, GBAPCD decided to direct all Carl Moyer funds to District on an annual basis for use on projects within San Joaquin Valley

  • As a condition of accepting funds, District assumes all associated administrative reporting, tracking and matching responsibilities

  • The Current agreement with GBAPCD is set to expire this year.

    • GBAPCD has indicated interest to continue the partnership for 5 more years.

Today’s Action will:

  • Extend the existing partnership with GBAPCD to accept and administer

  • Carl Moyer Program funds on their behalf for an additional five years –Authorize Executive Director/APCO to sign letter of designation of Carl

  • Moyer Program funds from GBAPCD to the District for an additional five years

    • Authorize Board Chair, on behalf of your Board, to sign letter of appreciation to GBAPCD for their ongoing partnership in this important program

Pedersen opens questions and comments for Item 7. There are none.

Dr. Sherriffs took an opportunity to thank the presenters of item 7 for their work and the importance of what they’re doing. Midway his audio, however, was distorting and his commentary was indecipherable.

The Vote

  • Bessinger yes, Chiesa yes, Couch yes, Fugazi yes, Lewis yes, Mendes yes, Pacheco-Werner yes, Pareira yes, Preciado yes, Reyes yes, Rickman yes, Sherriffs yes, Shuklian yes, Wheeler yes, Pedersen yes.

Unanimous vote, Item 7 approved.

Item 8

Approve Voluntary Emission Reduction Agreement (VERA) with Friant Water Authority to Mitigate Air Quality Impacts
Presentation by Brian Clements

  • Key Concepts of VERA

    • VERA is a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) mitigation measure that has been utilized since 2005 to reduce air quality impacts from development projects

    • VERAs are designed to provide an enforceable mechanism for Lead Agencies to mitigate project emissions through their environmental review processes

      • Developers implement onsite mitigation measures and project design elements

      • VERAs then serve as an additional mitigation measure to compliment project design elements and achieve additional emissions reductions

      • A VERA can be implemented to address air quality impacts from both construction and operational phases of a project

    • The Board’s approval of any VERAs assure proper mitigation of air quality impacts, but in no way signify approval or endorsement of the development project by the District

      • Approval discretion of the development project continues to rest with the Lead Agency

  • Mitigation Agreements with District

    • Agreements are administered by the District and provide funding toward clean air projects in the Valley on behalf of the project developer

    • Mature and successful process, 46 agreements

    • Over 9,600 tons of emissions reduced

    • Reductions go beyond those required by rules (District ISR rule and other applicable local, state and federal regulations)

    • Complementary mitigation measure under CEQA for Lead Agencies

    • Mitigation achieved before or simultaneously with emission increases

    • No refunds if development project is cancelled or downsized and District has already funded emission reduction projects

    • Some examples of how the funds are administered for air pollution reduction in the valley:

      • Grants to valley businesses/municipalities/residents to:

        • electrify or replace existing diesel-powered off- road equipment and agricultural tractors

        • replace old trucks with new low-emission trucks

        • replace older and high-polluting school buses

        • municipalities to replace older transit buses and other vehicles

        • residents to purchase cleaner personal vehicles

        • residents to repair older high polluting vehicles

        • residents to replace fireplaces and non-certified wood burning stoves with natural gas inserts or clean burning EPA-certified units

  • The District’s successful incentive grant programs are integral to execution of these mitigation agreements

  • –Over $3.5 billion invested in clean air projects through incentive grant programs

  • –Over 189,000 tons of emissions reduced

  • –State audits commend District as “shining example” for effectiveness and efficiency

  • –High demand across a variety of incentive programs due to reputation and established relationships with local agencies, businesses, and other stakeholders

Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project:

  • Project consists of restoring the Friant-Kern Canal capacity by:

    • Raising portions of the embankments of the existing Friant-Kern Canal for
      approximately 13 miles

    • Constructing a new realigned canal segment for approximately 20 miles

  • Project will be implemented by the Friant Water Authority and Bureau of Reclamation, both serving as Lead Agencies under CEQA and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 

    • Prepared a joint state Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS)

  • The EIR/EIS requires NOx emissions from the Project’s construction to be mitigated to below the District’s NOx significance threshold of 10 tons per year

Today’s Agreement will:

  • Satisfy the mitigation measures

  • Mitigation required: 10.48 tons of NOx (nitrogen oxide)

  • Estimated mitigation funds are $101,908

Clements completes his presentation.

Pedersen opens for questions from the Board about Item 8.

Sherriffs takes a moment to praise the science and mathematics that come into play in these calculations and thanks the staff for their work.

“I’m looking at these numbers, and we’re looking at pound-for-pound mitigation. These require very precise calculations,” Sherriffs said. “We’re talking $100,000, for other things we’re talking hundreds of millions. Although this seems like a small project with a small number, the tasks we have, these numbers matters. Ten tons of NOx makes a difference.”

Supervisor Wheeler spoke on how important this project is. “We can’t afford to lose a drop of water. Redoing some of the parts of that canal is so important,” Wheeler says.

The Vote

Bessinger yes, Chiesa yes, Couch yes, Fugazi yes, Lewis yes, Mendes yes, Pacheco-Werner yes, Pareira yes, Preciado yes, Reyes yes, Rickman yes, Sherriffs yes, Shuklian yes, Wheeler yes, Pedersen yes. 

Unanimous vote, Item 8 approved. 

Item 9

Update on District’s Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Presentation by Morgan Lambert, Deputy APCO

So far:

  • District continues to take a proactive approach in responding to COVID-19 pandemic based on directives, guidelines, and recommendations from local, state, and federal officials such as:

    • Federal CDC, California DPH, Cal OSHA, Governor’s Office, President of the United States, and other state and federal agencies

    • Additionally, District is in close contact with health officials across Valley for up- to-date implementation of local health advisories (8 counties, 59 cities)

  • Goals of response:

    • Ensure safety and well-being of our staff, Valley stakeholders, and our community at large

    • Continued essential air quality public service to residents, businesses, and others served by the District

  • Ways in which the District is ensuring safe environments for staff and stakeholders:

    • Proper cleaning/disinfecting measures throughout the District office and District vehicles

    • Social distancing measures amongst staff and the general public

    • COVID-19 Symptom Screening measures for staff and the general public

    • Per local and state guidance, continued District operations by utilizing a range of telecommuting options

    • Face covering requirements

    • Suspended non-essential work travel

    • Worksite COVID-19 Prevention Plan to protect the health of staff and
      the public in our offices as normal operations resume

  • The district is ensuring continued essential public services by:

    • Rapidly developed and implemented measures aimed at maintaining continuity of critical essential services 

      • Air quality monitoring, forecasting, burn management

      • Enforcement of air quality regulations/complaint response

      • Permitting/Small Business Assistance

      • Clean air grant administration

    • Economic assistance measures to help residents and

    • Overall, District successful in providing essential services and
      high level of productivity, accessibility, and customer service

  • District staff have been actively tracking wide ranging impacts of the pandemic response

    • They have observed severe impacts to Valley residents and businesses

    • Economic recovery models are highly variable depending on the depth and duration of the ongoing pandemic 

    • Presenter cites 2020 World Trade Organization information regarding economic impacts

      • World Bank estimates global
        economy shrank by 4.3% in 2020

        • Global economy projected to grow 4% in 2021 and 3.8% in 2022, still below pre-pandemic projections

      • World Trade Organization forecasts
        “weak recovery” rather than quick rebound

  • Statewide Economic Impacts

  • SJV Economic Impacts

    • Unemployment rates in the Valley have been found to be higher than the US average.

    • Peak unemployment in

    • pandemic in April 2020

      • Valley average of 17.8%

      • High of 19.3% in Tulare County

    • Average unemployment in December was 10.8%, with high of 11.8% in Tulare County

  • The district also observed that vehicle activity from Feb-Dec 2019 versus 2020 was largely unchanged despite a significant dip in 2020 March-April during the statewide shelters.

    • Due to this ozone and NOx pollution has also not seen any significant decreases 

  • Looking Ahead to Recovery

    • California economy has begun to reopen in stages

    • District will continue to maintain safety of staff, stakeholders, and

      • Continued implementation of local, state, and federal COVID-19
        recommendations, including utilization of expanded telecommuting capabilities

      • Ensure effective communication with stakeholders and community

      • Continue economic assistance measures

      • Advocate, identify, and apply for available resources to assist in maintaining essential services

    • Evaluate circumstances and additional measures as the extent and
      duration of the economic impacts are better understood

    • Continue to prioritize progress toward attainment of health-based air
      quality standards and public engagement in regulatory processes

Pedersen speaks after the presentation of Item 9 and expresses frustrations regarding processes for COVID-19 being funneled through the MyTurn app to monitor vaccinations. Pederson also expresses frustrations regarding the general impacts of the pandemic and how it has affected the Valley. 

Pacheco-Werner stated that the CDC recently released a report that the United States life expectancy lowered by a whole year. For Non-Hispanic Black people, it lowered 2.7 years, for Hispanics, 1.9 years.

“I mention this because it overlaps and brings in more urgency to the work that we’re doing here,” Pacheco-Werner said. “Anything that we can do to mitigate the effects of air quality on health will be of great help to the entire communities that we serve. For me this report was a call for all of us to really double down on all of our efforts for attainment of air quality standards.”

Item 10

Discussion of Next Steps for Attainment Planning Efforts for Federal PM 2.5 and Ozone Standards.

Presentation by Jessie Fierro and Jon Klassen

  • Air Quality and Health Effects: PM 2.5

    • Fierro opens up defining what PM 2.5 means. “In the San Joaquin Valley there are pollutants that we focus on in particular. One of them is PM 2.5 or particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or smaller,” Fierro says.

    • A mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air

    • Emitted directly or formed indirectly through chemical reactions between gases

    • Exposure associated with premature mortality, increased hospital admissions for heart or lung causes, acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, respiratory symptoms, and restricted activity days

  • Air Quality and Health Effects: Ozone

    • Fierro emphasizes that Ozone reduction is not about managing and reducing things that emit Ozone because nothing “emits Ozone”, Ozone must be reduced by addressing NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions

    • Ozone formed through reaction of NOx, and VOCs in presence of heat/sunlight

    • We experience high ozone in the summer, with peaks in the middle of the day

    • Ozone most significantly impacts people with asthma, children, older adults, and outdoor workers

    • Exposure to ozone causes coughing, throat irritation, pain, burning, or discomfort in the chest, chest tightness or shortness of breath

  • Federal Air Quality Legislation

    • Fierra states that the Air Pollution Control Act was introduced in 1955, but clarifies that air quality concerns started in the 40s. In 1948 a smog episode happened in a town where many people got sick.

    • The Clean Air Act (CAA) was established in 1963 and then the Air Quality Act in 1967.

      • These were research acts, not really meant or with a purpose to control air quality.

    • The CAA Amendments in 1970-1977 is where regulations on the federal level really got put in place to control air pollution.

      • This is where timelines were put in place to predict and work towards air pollution reduction

      • Those timelines were disputed because they were not realistic. 

    • In 1990 CAA Amendments 

      • Last year amendments were made to the CAA. No changes made in the past 30 years.

      • There have been 11 tiny edits to amendments since 1990, but those mostly dealt with definitions, nothing large scale

    • California was the state to start work on policy and regulations regarding air quality control.

  • Agency Roles

    • Federal (EPA)

      • Sets standards and establishes implementation deadlines – Regulates mobile sources

      • Preempts state/local regulation of mobile sources

      • Reviews and approves State Implementation Plans (SIPs)

    • State (CARB) [California Air Resources Board]

      • Oversight authority over local districts

      • Regulates mobile sources (must receive EPA waiver) 

      • Regulates area/toxics sources (i.e gas stations and drive thrus)

      • Approves local SIPs for submission to EPA

    • Local

      • Regulates stationary and area sources (i.e businesses operating in the valley)

      • Permitting and enforcement 

      • Prepare SIPs

  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

    • EPA sets these standards, only centers health NOT costs.

    • Criteria Pollutants: ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and lead

      • Implementation costs are NOT to be considered in setting the NAAQS

      • Health-based standards designed to provide margin of safety and protect sensitive Populations

      • In Valley, key issues are ozone (summer), PM2.5 (winter)

    • To be reevaluated every 5 years by CASAC (Clean Air Scientific Advisory
      Committee) based on latest health science – PM2.5 standards: 1997, 2006, and 2012 (unfortunately, never happens every 5 years due to complications and political discrepancies)

      • 8-hour ozone standards: 1997, 2008, 2015

    • Formula-based deadlines in the Clean Air Act (CAA)

      • EPA designates attainment status

      • Classifications determine deadlines and stringency of SIP requirements

  • Federal Sanctions and FIPS

    • Regions may face severe penalties if unable to meet CAA requirements

      • What will trigger sanctions?

        • Inability to submit an EPA-approvable attainment plan

        • Inability to submit a revised plan in response to EPA disapproval

        • Failure to implement commitments in EPA-approved attainment plans

        • Sanctions (18-month clock)

        • Significant barriers to new and expanding businesses (2:1 offsets) – Loss of federal highway funds (billions of dollars loss to the Valley)

        • Loss of local control

        • Federal Implementation Plan (24-month clock)

        • EPA to adopt/implement measures to address deficiency

        • EPA cannot require District to adopt specific regulations or enforce EPA adopted Regulations

        • Draconian measures suggested have included no-drive days, no-farm days, no-construction days

    • ***California has come pretty close to being “FIP’d” in the past but has not officially been FIP’d. These sanctions are very serious and could cost state a lot of money.

  • State Implementations Plans (SIPs)

    • SIP requirements established by implementation rules and 40 CFR interpreting the CAA

    • • Components of a SIP

      • Analysis of ambient air quality data

      • Emissions inventory

      • Model future air quality, determine emissions reductions needed for attainment – Control measure analysis and commitments

      • “Black box” of yet-to-be-identified measures allowed for ozone, but not PM2.5

      • Emissions reductions milestones

      • Transportation conformity

      • Contingency measures (Bahr case)

        • Backup emission reductions measures that you factor in but do not implement unless needed. 

        • ***very challenging because CA has one of the most challenging emission reductions plans in the country, therefore these plans would need to just be implemented. Leaving a question of how much is enough right now. Required through the CAA.

      • EPA to act on SIPs within 18 months

        • Approval: SIP becomes federally enforceable

  • The Air Quality Standards Cycle

    • Fierro displays a cycle diagram image that displays the Air Quality standards that the CAA established in the 90s that appear in the following order:

      • 1.) EPA sets new standards

      • 2.) EPA classifies non-attainment areas

      • 3.) EPA issues implementation requirements 

      • 4.) States adopt attainment plan

      • 5.) States implement controls 

      • 6.) Emissions are reduced

    • These steps then repeat. 

    • Fierro explains that while this cycle appears and is intended to be a clean process, it has proven over time to be a lot more complicated. There are 6 different standards to abide by, therefore, the cycle is not linear or streamline. 

Fierro moves the presentation over to Jon Klassen, who will detail Valley-specific challenges as well as plans for PM 2.5 and Ozone. 

  • Valley’s Air Quality Challenges

    • Valley’s challenges in meeting federal air quality standards unmatched due to unique combination of topography and meteorology

    • Valley faced with variety of challenges including role as major goods movement corridor, high population growth, pollution transport from other areas, wildfires

    • 20 of 30 most disadvantaged California communities located within the San Joaquin Valley

  • Ongoing Valley Clean Air Efforts

    • District Governing Board has adopted numerous attainment plans and
      air quality control strategies to address federal standards – Adopted nearly 650 stringent rules and regulations
      – Stationary source emissions reduced by over 90%

    • CARB has adopted numerous mobile source emissions control regulations and strategies

    • District/CARB combined efforts represent nation’s toughest emissions control program

    • Strong incentive programs (over $3.5 billion in public/private investment)

    • Through significant clean air investments, Valley continues to make
      major improvements with respect to air quality

  • Major Reductions in Pollution

    • Klassen displays a bar graph image comparing NOx emissions of 1980 and 2020. 

    • The images conveys major decreases in NOx emissions by the ton on several levels (on-road mobile, other mobile, area wide sources, and stationary sources)

    • The graphic concludes the Valley has seen a 93% decrease stationary source emissions since 1980.

    • Klassen explains that NOx emission is very important because it is a key component of both Ozone and PM 2.5 pollution

  • Building Upon Previous Attainment Plans

    • Numerous attainment plans have been developed and implemented

    • by the District over the last few decades to significantly improve

    • Valley air quality, including:

      • 2003 PM10 Plan

      • 2007 Ozone Plan for the 1997 8-hour Ozone Standard

      • 2008 PM2.5 Plan for the 1997 PM2.5 Standard

      • 2012 PM2.5 Plan for the 2006 PM2.5 Standard

      • 2013 Plan for the Revoked 1-hour Ozone Standard

      • 2016 Ozone Plan for the 2008 8-hour Ozone Standard

      • 2016 Moderate Area Plan for the 2012 PM2.5 Standard

      • 2018 Plan for the 1997, 2006, and 2012 PM2.5 Standards

  • 2018 PM 2.5 Plan

    • 2018 PM2.5 Plan adopted in November 2018 to address latest PM2.5 standards:

      • Regulatory measures

      • Incentive-based measures

      • State mobile source strategy

      • Targeted “hot-spot” strategy

      • Public outreach and education

      • Technology advancement and demonstration efforts

      • Call for action by state and federal governments to do their part in reducing emissions in Valley

        • Developed through extensive public process

          • CARB and District actively implementing Plan commitments for further emissions reductions

  • Adopted District Measures of the 2018 PM 2.5 Plan

    • Your Board has taken recent action on the following measures

    • to address Plan commitments and pursue additional measures: 

      • Launched new incentive programs, including alternatives to ag open burning, low-dust harvesters, commercial zero-emission lawn/garden

      • Implemented wide-ranging incentive programs, such as replacement of trucks, ag equipment, wood-burning devices

      • Adopted enhanced residential woodsmoke reduction strategy 

      • Adopted amendments to Rule 4311 (Flares)

      • Adopted amendments to Rules 4306/4320 (Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters)

      • Adopted charbroiler emission reduction strategy 

      • Adopted additional agricultural burning prohibitions

  • What’s coming up in 2021?

    • Additionally, District staff anticipate action on the following 2018

    • PM2.5 Plan measures in 2021:

      • Rule 4702 (Internal Combustion Engines)

      • Rule 4354 (Glass Melting Furnaces)

      • Rule 4352 (Solid Fuel-Fired Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters)

      • Updates on emission reductions achieved through Burn Cleaner and Ag

      • Pump Replacement incentive programs

      • Continued implementation of key SIP-creditable incentive programs,including heavy-duty vehicle/equipment replacement, wood-burning device changeouts, low-dust harvesters, alternatives to ag open burning

  • Updates on CARB Regulatory Measures via 2018 PM 2.5 Plan

    • Given significant need for additional emissions reductions from mobile sources in 2024/2025 timeframe, District continues to advocate for fair-share emissions reductions from state and federal governments and funding

    • CARB continues to make progress in implementing its State SIP Strategy to reduce emissions from mobile sources:

      • June 2020: Advanced Clean Trucks rule requiring phase-in of zero-emission trucks

      • August 2020: Omnibus rule establishing new low-NOx requirements for heavy-duty trucks and additional requirements

    • Additional work by CARB to implement significant regulatory and incentive-based measure commitments are ongoing in 2021, including statewide heavy-duty truck inspection and maintenance program

    • Critical that State Mobile Source Strategy address Valley’s near-term public health and attainment needs as new longer-term state goals are established

  • Status of EPA Review of 2018 PM 2.5 Plan

    • In June of last year the EPA officially approved the SIP for the 2006 PM 2.5 standard

    • Klassen shares that from then to now, the EPA is in the process of reviewing portions of the 2018 PM 2.5 plan concerning 1997 and 2012  PM 2.5 standards

      • The District and CARB are providing support in the EPA’s ongoing review

  • Valley Efforts to Improve Ozone Air Quality

    • Klassen reiterates Fierro’s previous points about Ozone being largely challenging during summer seasons

      • This is due to the summer high pressure weather patterns and the Valley’s geography that traps NOx emissions on the valley floor

    • Klassen shares that the Board of the SJV Air District has shown commitment to reducing Ozone, bringing attention to three plans:

      • 2013 Ozone Plan

      • 2007 Ozone Plan

      • 2016 Ozone Plan

        • Both the 2007 and 2016 plans bring the Valley on track to meeting EPA deadlines into 2031.

    • San Joaquin Valley is the first and only region in the nation classified as “extreme” nonattainment to reach attainment

  • Ongoing Valley Ozone Improvements

    • Compared to previous years the Valley achieved significant reduction in days  exceeding the federal ozone standards

      • The data excludes the impacts of the 2020 Wildfires

    • Over 90% reduction in population exposure to peak ozone values

    • In 2020, the Valley experienced the lowest 8-hour ozone design value on record

      • Klassen supports this data with a chart showing ongoing decrease in Ozone that is on track to meet several deadline standards (1997, 2008, 2015)

  • 2022 Ozone Plan

    • Despite significant progress, substantial further reductions in NOx emissions needed to attain new 2015 federal 8-hour ozone standard

    • Over 85% of remaining NOx emissions in Valley come from mobile

    • sources under state and federal jurisdiction

      • Important that continued efforts to reduce emissions from passenger vehicles,heavy duty trucks, locomotives, and other mobile sources be pursued

      • 2022 Ozone Plan will build on existing air quality strategies, and comprehensive NOx emissions reduction strategies in existing adopted ozone and PM2.5 plans will greatly contribute to meeting new ozone standard

  • Planning Requirements for 2022 Ozone Plans

    • Klassen shows a clean linear graphic detailing requirements for planning of the 2022 Ozone Plans in the following order

      • 2020

        • RACT demonstrations [completed]

        • Emissions statements 

        • Program certification [completed]

        • Emissions Inventory updates [completed]

      • 2021

        • Emissions inventory, update and finalize CARB

        • Model and Air Quality Analysis 

        • RACM Rule Analysis Attainment Strategy Development 

        • New source Review

      • 2022

        • Mid-2022  Public hearing to consider attainment plan 

        • In August, Plan due to EPA

      • 2037 is the attainment deadline

  • Guiding Principles for the 2022 Ozone Plan 

    • Klassen states there will be a strong initiative to provide a balanced approach to reducing mobile and stationary source emissions of NOx

  • Next steps for District attainment planning

    • Robust public engagement critical for development of new ozone plan

    • Upon completion of analysis of existing regulatory programs and statewide mobile source measures, District and CARB will recommend additional control measures as necessary to achieve expeditious attainment of new ozone standard

      • District will establish stakeholder engagement opportunities to discuss key areas of interest, and solicit input from affected sources, community-based organizations, residents, and other Valley stakeholders

      • District staff to provide updates at public workshops and meetings, including meetings of the Governing Board, CAC, and EJAG

      • Expected mid-2022 Public Hearing for consideration of 2022 Ozone Plan 

        • Continual updates to be provided to your Board regarding coordination with CARB and EPA for approval of remaining portions of 2018 PM2.5 Plan

Klassen concludes the shared presentation. Pedersen thanks Klassen and Fierro for their presentation and describes it as a “keeper”. Pedersen goes on to reference new board member, Deborah Lewis, stating that this presentation summarizes the challenges of meeting the standards for attainment very well.

Pedersen jokingly references the coffee that Klassen and Fierro drank, referencing the presenters energy and engagement that they put into their presentation. Various Board members and district staff can be heard laughing.

Bessinger comments on “black box” measures and says that they as a district need to speak to the areas that they have no control over that prevent them from getting attainment and quantify those. 

“If we get to the point in some future situation where the EPA wants to implement Draconian measures. . .I don’t want to see it. A no drive day? No farm day? Good luck. That will never happen,” Bessinger said.

Wheeler also comments positively on the presentation. “This is the ‘good-est’ summary I’ve ever heard,” he says. 

Pacheco-Werner comments on the potential increased use of social media as a form of public engagement on this issue could be an added tool.

The rest of the district Board reacted positively to the presentation as a well-done summary of the challenges and processes that go into attainment and meeting standards.

Board comments conclude and Pedersen moves on to Item 11.

Item 11

Authorize Contribution of up to $37,500 in funding to Council of Fresno County Governments to support Phase 2 Inland Port Feasibility study

Presentation by: Tom Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor

  • Goods Movement Impact on the Valley

    • Emission reductions from mobile sources critical to attaining federal air quality standards in San Joaquin Valley

    • Over 85% of NOx in Valley from mobile sources (over 40% come from heavy-duty diesel trucks)

    • Two main transportation corridors (I-5 and SR-99) in Valley connecting Northern and Southern California

    • Nearly all containers transported between sea ports through Valley are by heavy-duty diesel trucks

    • Valley is growing location for warehousing, distribution and related logistics businesses and leader in national and international agricultural and food production

  • Need for effective Goods movement system

    • Current container-on-truck method used to transport goods between Valley production centers and seaports is highly inefficient, resulting in increased costs and air pollution

      • I-5 and SR-99 carry up to 80,000 trucks per day, many traveling to seaports

      • Lack of local Valley container storage facility necessitates empty containers be picked up from and returned to seaport locations (doubles needed trips)

      • Regulations on truck operators limit shipping distance

    • Development of inland port near agricultural and industrial hubs of Valley could greatly reduce amount of truck traffic and associated emissions on Valley highways, by allowing goods to be shipped via railway instead of on heavy-duty trucks

    • Your Board has long supported efforts to identify innovative measures to reduce emissions associated with goods movement, including evaluating the concept of inland ports as a means of eliminating heavy-duty truck emissions in the San Joaquin Valley

  • Keep findings from initial feasibility study [Phase 1]

    • In February, 2019, your Board authorized staff to contract with the Central Valley Community Foundation for an amount not to exceed $47,500 on Phase 1 Inland Port Feasibility Study (co-funded by cities,counties,ports,air districts). Key Findings:

      • Robust inbound/outbound Market Shed exists with volumes that could support intermodal rail

      •  Significant environmental benefits with greater than 80% reduction in air pollution per train

      • Preliminary business model that suggests a California inland port rail system is economically viable, but dependent upon a range of issues – more detailed analyses required

      • Need for more engagement with railroad companies to jointly assess and review options

      • This is a complex project that would have a range of positive impacts throughout California

      • To support project implementation and State environmental, transportation and economic objectives, it is important that the State of California be an active participant in the project (CARB, Governor’s offices of planning and economic development, transportation agencies)

    • Board directed that regional transportation agencies (COGs), state agencies, and others evaluate potential interest and next steps

  • Next Steps

    • Based on further discussions by Valley COGs, state agencies, project proponents, scope of work for upcoming inland port evaluations are broken into two phases:

      • Phase2:

        • Identification of shipper sector market requirements, preparation of a market sensitivity analysis, identification of anticipated direct and indirect costs, development of a financial model, environmental analysis, and establishment of a business model framework

        • Clean inland port freight zero/near-zero emissions vehicle/equipment

        • This phase will be conducted Spring-Fall 2021

        • The cost of Phase 2 is $250,000

        • District has been requested to provide $37,500 funding contribution to support this phase

          • Phase3:

            • Upon completion of Phase 2, evaluation would focus on establishing railroad partnerships,
              capital cost development, creating next generation transport hubs

            •  Phase 3 proposal submitted by Fresno COG/Valley MPOs (CalTrans Strategic Partnership Grant)

            •  This phase will begin in Fall 2021

            • The estimated cost of Phase 3 is $480,000 (funded by Valley COGs and CalTrans)

  • Phase 2 Evaluations 

    • The Fresno Council of Governments taking the lead on Phase 2 – Acting as the fiscal agent on behalf of Valley COGs, funding contributors 

      • Developed a scope of work

      • Contractor will be selected through an RFP

    • Jordan shares a table listing off partnering entities and their respective funding contributions. They are as followed:

      • Port of Los Angeles $80,000

      • Port of Long Beach $80,000

      • Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District $15,000

      • South Coast Air Quality Management District $37,500

      • San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District $37,500

  • Recommendations:

    • Approval of staff’s recommendations would authorize the Executive Director/APCO, with Board Chair signature, to enter into an agreement with the Fresno COG to provide $37,500 in support of the Phase 2 project, pending adequate funding commitments from other funding partners

    • The District, Valley MPOs, and other funding contributors will be engaged in the study in an advisory capacity, with a final study and presentation to be provided upon completion

Jordan concludes his presentation and Pedersen opens up for questions from the Board.

Wheeler comments and says this is a prime example of how we can help and states that much of the PM 2.5 going around is from the trucks going up and down the state. “This will help get some of those trucks off if it passes. I think it’s a great idea.”

Mendes points out that there may be less cooperation from the Railroad Association, but still voices his support for the study.

Pereira comments. “I would also like to voice my support for our involvement in this study. We have continued working with the railroads,” he says. Pereira states that they have been pretty cooperative so far and believes this study will continue to support their case. 

The Vote

All yes, except Dr. Pacheco-Werner who left the call and did not vote.

Pedersen ends the meeting as all Items on agenda have been addressed.

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