In response to Assembly Bill 617 (C. Garcia, 2017), the California Air Resources Board (CARB) established the Community Air Protection Program, which focuses on reducing exposure in California communities most impacted by air pollution. Regional air districts are tasked with assisting selected communities in developing air monitoring and emissions reduction plans. In the Bay Area, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), a BARC member agency, is partnering with community members, community-based organizations, local governments and others to identify and address key sources of pollution in local impacted communities.

Successfully reducing pollution exposure in vulnerable communities will require ambitious action across government agencies, including more stringent air quality regulations, targeted transportation and freight investments, and strategic local land use planning. Recognizing this, BARC is working with its member agencies to scale up collaboration at the regional level to implement the ambitious strategies that communities have identified to reduce pollution exposure through AB 617.

In 2018, the initial Bay Area communities selected were Richmond-San Pablo and West Oakland. Richmond-San Pablo is currently initiating a community air monitoring program driven by local concerns. In West Oakland, the West Oakland Community Action Plan was finalized in 2019. The plan is a first-of-its-kind community-led emissions reduction strategy that recommends the specific actions necessary to address pollution exposure in West Oakland. Proposed future Bay Area communities for AB 617 funds include East Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, San Leandro, and Vallejo.

Stay Up-To-Date on AB 617 Community Air Protection in the Bay Area

To stay up-to-date on upcoming meetings and events on AB 617 Community Air Protection activities in the Bay Area, visit the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Community Health Protection program website.

Owning Our Air: The West Oakland Community Action Plan

In December of 2019, the West Oakland Community Action Plan was adopted by the California Air Resources Board. The first-of-its-kind plan was developed through a community-led process driven by a local steering committee. The plan identifies sources of harmful air pollution at a block-by-block scale that informs local actions to reduce exposure. Read the full plan and its supporting documents here.