MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — The Clean Air Centers Pilot Program was established by AB 836 (Wicks) and provides the Valley Air District $750,000 in funding to create a network of clean air centers to provide vulnerable populations a respite from wildfires and other smoke events.
The guidelines established by the California Air Resources Board provide the Valley Air District with resources to assist in creating clean air centers (similar to the Valley’s cooling centers) at schools, community centers, senior centers, sport centers, libraries and other publicly accessible buildings that would most effectively protect our vulnerable populations during wildfire smoke events.
On May 1, 2022, the Valley Air District launched the new Clean Air Centers Pilot program, and the District has opened a third solicitation period for the Clean Air Center Pilot Program. Applications are being accepted now through September 17, 2022.
In addition to implementing and enforcing air quality regulations and providing clean air grants, the Valley Air District places a high priority in providing accurate and timely health protective information to the public.
The Valley Air District and other public health agencies throughout the Valley recommend that residents take health-protective actions to stay safe when smoke from catastrophic wildfires affects the Valley.
Some of these actions include staying indoors, the use of portable air cleaners or high efficiency filters to remove fine particles from the air, planning ahead and creating a “clean room”, and if unable to use fans and air conditioning in your home, to seek a more protective location during the air quality episode.
“The Clean Air Centers Pilot Program serves as key component in protecting Valley residents,” stated Samir Sheikh, Valley Air District Air Pollution Control Officer. “This program will help to create a network of accessible facilities for our most vulnerable residents who face the greatest challenges in protecting themselves during wildfire events.”
About the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
The Valley Air District covers eight counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern.
For additional information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit valleyair.org or call 559-230-6000.
Check out this video on creating a clean room in your home during a wildfire!