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San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, Local Organizations Announce Opening of New Program to Provide Portside Community Residents with Air Purifiers and Indoor Air Monitors

02/10/22

 

Local leaders from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (APCD), County of San Diego, Port of San Diego, and Environmental Health Coalition, announced the launch of the Portside Air Quality Improvement and Relief (“PAIR”) Program at Cesar Chavez Park. The “PAIR” Program seeks to provide eligible residents living in the Portside Community with a new air purifier, an indoor air monitor, and extra filters.

Applications from residents living in the Portside Community can be submitted to the Program’s Administrator, the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), when the program officially opens on March 1, 2022. Residents can contact EHC today by calling the Program Hotline at 619-603-7758 to get information on how to apply and be placed on the Program’s interest list.

The Portside Community (as designated pursuant to Assembly Bill (AB) 617, is comprised of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, and western National City. The community experiences disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollution compared to most communities in California due to environmental, health, and socioeconomic factors.

The USS Bonhomme Richard Navy Ship Fire in July 2020 further exposed air quality and health vulnerabilities within the Portside community, as most residents were not able to mitigate their exposure to degraded air quality conditions in the immediate area during the incident.

To address these concerns, a one-time allocation of $550,000 was appropriated from the County of San Diego’s General Fund to establish the PAIR Program.

An additional $103,000 was allocated from the Port of San Diego’s Maritime Industrial Impact Fund by the Board of Port Commissioners in late 2021 to further supplement the PAIR Program and purchase additional equipment. With both funding sources, the organizations hope to purchase up to 525 air purifiers and 525 indoor air monitors for distribution this year.

San Diego County Chair, Nathan Fletcher and Vice Chair Nora Vargas have been strong champions in the fight for cleaner air in San Diego County.

“As Chair of the Air Pollution Control District and a new Board Member of the California Air Resources Board, I am thrilled the Portside Air Quality Improvement and Relief Program will be available to our portside communities. Over 525 families will benefit from a new air purifier, an indoor air monitor, and extra filters,” said Nora Vargas, Vice Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

"This program is a great addition to the crucial work we must continue to do to remove hazardous contaminants from the air in our environmental justice communities and another step in building a healthier and stronger community.”

“Every adult and child deserve to breathe clean air, but the adults and children living in portside communities are being disproportionately impacted by the area's poor air quality. Launching the Portside Air Quality Improvement and Relief Program is an important step to ensure these residents are breathing the healthiest air they can in their homes,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

“The residential air purifiers and indoor air monitoring systems will be provided at no cost and be delivered directly to the doorstep of eligible participants.”

Participants will also receive enough extra air purifier filters to last for up to two years and may also be eligible to receive a one-time monetary stipend of $125 to help offset anticipated electrical costs for running the new devices.

At the conclusion of the program, APCD will use data collected from air monitors that participants chose to connect to the internet to gain information about the program’s impact on indoor air quality. APCD will then assess the results to learn more about potentially expanding the program in the future.

Eligible participants will receive a Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto air purifier, which includes HEPASilent™ three-part filtration technology and can filter all the air inside a medium-sized room up to five times an hour.

The Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto is certified by the California Air Resources Board and EnergyStar. Participants will also receive one IQAir AirVisual Pro indoor air monitor, which will monitor levels of particulate matter, carbon dioxide, humidity, temperature, and weather conditions, and will alert residents when air quality is bad inside the home. When connected to the internet, the air monitor can also provide three-day air quality forecasts to residents, so they have the option to plan indoor rather than outdoor activities on days with anticipated bad air quality.

The Program Administrator (EHC) will provide one-on-one assistance to residents in setting up the equipment, connecting the devices to the internet, and troubleshooting as needed. EHC will also be promoting the program and the equipment’s benefits through community outreach and upcoming events. The PAIR Program will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis until all devices have been distributed.

For more information, please visit the Environmental Health Coalition website at https://www.environmentalhealth.org or call the Program Hotline at 619-603-7758.

APCD is a government agency that regulates sources of air pollution within San Diego County. APCD’s vision is “Clean Air for All” and its mission is to improve air quality to protect public health and the environment.