Recent legislation (AB 617) directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish the Community Air Protection Program to reduce exposure in communities most affected by air pollution. The goal is to prioritize air quality improvements in California’s most polluted communities through enhanced monitoring and targeted deployment of cleaner technologies, with expanded community participation.

Key Elements of the Program Statewide

  • Identify the most heavily affected communities in California
    • CARB will likely identify a handful of highly impacted, disadvantaged communities for early implementation – most likely in other parts of the state
    • Deploy community-level air monitoring in these most impacted communities
    • Adopt community-specific emission reduction plans in these communities
  • Community selection is based on data from a statewide screening tool, low-income areas, public outreach, and other data sets and tools. Communities can also nominate themselves.
  • For many regions, including Santa Barbara County, provide funding to replace dirtier diesel engines and equipment with cleaner ones.
  • Implement new state emissions reporting system for criteria pollutants (such as ozone and particulate matter) and air toxics.
  • Encourage installation of more pollution controls at industrial facilities.
  • Increase penalties for polluters.

The District’s Local Implementation in Santa Barbara County 

  • Conduct community outreach in several regions in Santa Barbara County.
  • Talk with affected communities to identify eligible grant project types.
    • Project types will be shared with the District Board of Directors in June 2018, and forwarded to CARB to allocate funding.
  • Implement grant projects to improve air quality in affected communities.
  • Work with CARB to efficiently implement a statewide emission inventory reporting system that will be brought to the CARB Board later this year.
  • Participate in a working group to develop a technology clearinghouse and to identify BARCT (Best Available Retrofit Control Technology) standards. These control technologies can greatly reduce emissions from engines and equipment.
    • Potential revisions to District rules to meet the statewide BARCT standards.

The funding allocation from CARB is for diesel emissions reduction projects.  View infographic below for more on harmful effects of diesel emissions.


AB 617 Best Available Retrofit Control Technology Rule Development Schedule

AB 617 requires each air district to adopt an expedited rule development schedule for the implementation of BARCT at each industrial source subject to the California GHG Cap-and-Trade program. On December 20, 2018, the Board of Directors adopted the AB 617 BARCT Rule Development Schedule. This rule development schedule will allow the District to perform rule development proceedings to see if additional emission reductions can be feasibly attained at the six Industrial Sources within Santa Barbara County.

Board Materials:  Board Package, Board Presentation, Rule Development Schedule

Community Air Protection Survey

As part of a new state initiative called the Community Air Protection program, we’d like to know your top concerns about our air and the projects we can do to reduce diesel exhaust pollution.

Como parte de una nueva iniciativa estatal llamada programa de la Protección del Aire de la Comunidad, nos gustaría conocer sus principales preocupaciones sobre nuestro aire y los proyectos que podemos llevar a cabo para reducir la contaminación de los escapes de diésel. Puede ver este texto en español como archivo PDF

Tell us what you think. Please answer some questions in English.

Díganos lo que piensa. Favor de contestar algunas preguntas en español.

The District plans to have a booth at the following community events to seek input:

  • Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, April 21-22
  • Lompoc SpringFest, April 21
  • Guadalupe Earth Day, April 22
  • Santa Barbara Eastside Disaster Readiness Fair, April 28
  • Santa Maria Rodeo Parade Street Fair, June 2

Please let us know what you think!

Questions in English

Preguntas en Español


Learn more about AB 617 at the California Air Resources Board website.

See News Release issued on April 20, 2018