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August 2018 l Volume 2018-3

In This Issue

Air District to Host Events During Global Climate Action Summit
Charge! Program Awards More Than $6 Million for New EV Charging Stations
Air District Funds $4.5 million for Public Agency Climate Protection Grants
Partners Launch 2018 Program to Protect Blue Whales and Blue Skies
Air District Releases Online 2017 Annual Report
Air District Settles Case with Phillips 66 Company
Air District Offers Millions in Grants
Upcoming Events

Welcome to the latest issue of the Bay Area Air District’s Air Currents newsletter. In this issue, you’ll find articles about the Air District’s participation in the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, recent grants disbursed through the Charge! and Climate Protection Grants programs and the 2018 updates to the Vessel Speed Reduction incentive program. Other articles cover the release of the agency’s 2017 annual report and a recent settlement with Phillips 66. A summary of current grant opportunities is also included. 

globe with lights

Air District to Host Events During Global Climate Action Summit

On September 12-14, the Air District will host two events affiliated with the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

The Global Climate Action Summit will unite global leaders and celebrate the extraordinary achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the climate.

It will strengthen worldwide commitments and guide the international community in both climate change prevention and the realization of the historic Paris Agreement. 

Diesel Free by 33

As part of the summit, the Air District asks city and county elected officials, and business leaders worldwide to sign a Statement of Purpose that commits them to going diesel free by the end of 2033.

Diesel exhaust detrimentally affects public health and accelerates climate change. Its impacts fall heavily on populations already impacted by air pollution, other environmental hazards and economic inequality. Through committing to the Statement of Purpose, signers are prioritizing the health of their communities and the health of our planet..

In order to provide guidance for this diesel-free goal, the Air District recently assessed available options for replacing diesel-combustion vehicles and equipment with zero-emission technologies. For further information about this assessment, view the Air District’s Diesel Free by '33 website.

The Air District will also be holding an affiliate event, entitled, “United Against GHGs - Diesel Free by ‘33,” in conjunction with this diesel pledge campaign. This invitation-only event will be hosted on Wednesday, September 12, at the Air District’s Bay Area Metro Center headquarters on 375 Beale Street in San Francisco.

At the event, local and regional elected officials and industry leaders will join the Air District and other partners in discussing action towards a healthy community and healthy planet.

Climate Tech Marketplace

On Thursday, September 13, the Air District will also host an affiliated expo and networking event entitled, "Climate Tech Marketplace," at the Bay Area Metro Center to connect climate technologies with potential customers.

This event will showcase emerging climate technologies for the commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. The Air District invites companies, governments, utilities, industrial facilities, fleet managers and transportation agencies to connect with exciting opportunities for climate action and inclusive economic growth. Investors and public and private financing institutions are also invited to join the Air District in accelerating concrete and market-driven climate action.

Attending the Summit

Attendance at these events and other high-level Global Climate Action Summit sessions is invitation-only and will require accreditation.

More than 350 events will occur throughout the Bay Area over the three days, many open to the public. Check the Global Climate Action Summit Events Calendar page to find events. 

From September 12-14, you can virtually attend the Summit by streaming it live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  You can follow the Summit and the Air District’s affiliate events on Twitter:  #ClimateTechMarketplace  #GCAS2018  #StepUp2018

Charging Station

Charge! Program Awards More Than $6 Million for New EV Charging Stations

The Air District’s Board of Directors approved funding for the installation of more than 2,000 new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the nine-county region.

These new, publicly available charging stations will be located along major transportation corridors at workplaces and key locations, including schools, transportation hubs and multi-unit dwellings.

Grantees include the Los Altos School District ($1,400,763), East Side Union High School District ($500,000), San Francisco International Airport ($285,000) and Old Redwood Commons Association ($120,000). GRID Alternatives was also awarded $56,000 to fund the installation of charging stations in low income communities.

The 59 selected projects will install 2,059 charging stations at 134 locations throughout the Bay Area and over a three-year period are estimated to reduce criteria pollutant emissions by nearly 8 tons and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 9,484 tons.

The Charge! Program offsets a portion of the cost of purchasing, installing and operating new public charging stations. Funding comes from the $4 surcharge on motor vehicles registered within the Bay Area, which since 1991, has also supported programs for clean air vehicles and infrastructure, ride sharing, shuttles, and bicycle facilities.

GHG Emissions

Air District Funds $4.5 million for Public Agency Climate Protection Grants

The Air District’s Board of Directors approved $4.5 million in funding for projects at 15 regional public agencies that will reduce greenhouse gases from existing buildings, and/or develop innovative strategies for long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

All projects conform to Spare the Air, Cool the Climate, the Air District’s Clean Air Plan, and accelerate the reduction of criteria air pollution as well as greenhouse gases. The selected projects demonstrate innovative approaches that hold promise as strategies that can be replicated throughout the region and beyond.

The grants invest in on-the-ground, proactive carbon-reducing projects identified by environmental professionals already at work throughout the Bay Area’s public sector. Drawing on that expertise will continue to move the Bay Area forward on the path toward meeting the region’s climate protection goals.

The projects include $400,000 to the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, a collaboration of the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area, led by the Association of Bay Area Governments. BayREN implements effective energy saving programs on a regional level and will develop a program to use electric hot water heat pumps instead of traditional natural gas water heating tanks.

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority has been awarded $263,000 to use automated sensor technology to help reduce contamination in compost.

Marin County, working along with other jurisdictions has been awarded $206,000 to develop marketing and model policies to promote low-carbon concrete building materials in local municipalities.

The collection of new policies, projects, technological applications and collaborations receiving funding through these grants represents a wealth of benefit to the Bay Area and beyond.

For a more complete list of grant award winners, view the Air District’s June 19 press release.

Whale tale in front of container ship

Partners Launch 2018 Program to Protect Blue Whales and Blue Skies

In an ongoing initiative to cut air pollution and protect whales, the Air District and its partners launched the 2018 Vessel Speed Reduction incentive program on July 1. This program, which ends November 15, sets voluntary vessel speed reduction, or VSR, zones in the Santa Barbara Channel region and San Francisco Bay Area.

For the 2018 program, financial incentives will be awarded to shipping companies based on the percent of distance traveled by their vessels through the VSR zones at 10 knots or less, with an average speed that does not exceed 12 knots. The 10-knot target was selected by the partnership for consistency with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sanctuaries’ request that vessels weighing 300 gross tons or more slow to 10 knots or fewer during the months of peak whale abundance to protect whales from lethal ship strikes.

Shipping companies will receive financial awards at different tiers based on their fleet’s adherence to the program criteria. The four award tiers are bronze, silver, gold and sapphire. Close to $300,000 is available for the 2018 program. Awards will range from approximately $1,000 to $35,000 (or greater in special circumstances) per company.

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District is providing $175,000 for the 2018 Program from a Supplemental Environmental Project settlement secured through the California Air Resources Board. The balance of funding for the 2018 Program is from the other air districts who are participating, and the Volgenau Foundation.

Expanding the VSR program and coordinating it with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s seasonal whale advisory zone enhances conservation efforts for blue, humpback and fin whales feeding in West Coast national marine sanctuaries.

To participate in the program, companies were asked to submit by no later than July 10, the list of vessels (container ships and roll-on, roll-off vessels known as Ro-Ros) that will be transiting the VSR regions between July 1 and November 15.  Additional information about the program, including maps and other materials, is available online.

Cover of 2017 Annual Report

Air District Releases Online 2017 Annual Report

The Air District is proud to announce the launch of a new online version of the 2017 Annual Report, Envision, Deliver, Protect

The online annual report contains all the important achievements of the past year in an interactive and dynamic format with links to videos that tie to our current programs.

We invite you to view Envision, Deliver, Protect.


Air District Settles Case with Phillips 66 Company

In May, Phillips 66 Company agreed to pay the Air District $99,400 to settle air quality violations at its refinery in Rodeo

The Air District settled a group of 13 Notices of Violation issued to Phillips 66 Company for air quality violations that occurred at its Rodeo refinery in 2015. The Notices of Violation addressed in the settlement include:

  • Brief violations of emission limits as measured by monitors on refinery equipment
  • Venting of odorous gases that did not result in a public nuisance
  • A failed accuracy test of a continuous emission monitoring system
  • Leak Detection and Repair program violations
  • Minor administrative violations

All the violations that led to this settlement have been corrected.

The Air District issues Notices of Violation when facilities violate a specific air quality regulation or rule. Violators are generally required to respond to the notice within ten days and submit a description of the actions they will take to correct the problem. These actions can include shutting down certain operations immediately, or changing operations or equipment to come into compliance.

All settlement funds will be used to fund Air District activities such as the inspection and enforcement activities that led to this settlement. 

Grant Funds

Air District Offers Millions in Grants

Residential Wood Smoke Reduction Incentive Program - Provides funding to eligible homeowners to help offset a portion of the cost to replace older, more highly polluting fireplaces or wood-burning stoves with qualifying cleaner heating devices, including electric heat pumps and natural gas or propane heating stoves and inserts, and to help homeowners decommission their working wood-burning devices. Funding is limited to homes located in eligible

Vehicle Buyback Program – The Vehicle Buy Back Program will pay Bay Area residents $1,000 to turn in their operable, registered, older vehicle for scrapping. Eligible vehicles include those that are model year 1996 and older.

Community Health Protection Grant Program – The Air District is offering $50 million in grant funds to reduce toxic air emissions and ozone-forming pollutants from older, polluting diesel engines through the Community Health Protection Grant Program. For the initial year of this program the Air District will accept applications for projects that reduce emissions in communities along the 80/880 freeways from Hayward to Richmond and from Vallejo to Pittsburg. Community input will play an important role by informing the Air District’s project outreach and project identification processes. Applications are being accepted now and funds will be awarded to owners of eligible equipment and vehicles by June 2019.

Carl Moyer Program – More than $16 million is available for projects that upgrade or replace eligible diesel equipment, including on-road trucks, off-road equipment, marine engines, agricultural equipment, locomotives, and electric charging and alternative fueling infrastructure. Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are awarded.

Lower-Emission School Bus Program - Funding is available for public school districts, JPAs, and contracted fleets in the Bay Area for bus replacement, engine repower or electric conversion, natural gas tank replacement, and electric charging and alternative fueling infrastructure projects. Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first served basis until all funds are awarded.

Pilot Trip Reduction Program – Up to $3 million is available on a competitive basis to public agencies that pilot new, innovative, and replicable solutions that reduce commute-hour, single occupancy vehicle trips. Funding is limited to projects that are conducted in eligible areas: Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and Air District designated highly impacted areas. The solicitation is tentatively scheduled to open in Fall 2018.

Coming soon!

Light-Duty Zero-Emissions Vehicle Program – This program is scheduled to begin accepting applications later this year. Up to $5 million will be available for the purchase of three or more qualifying new zero-emissions light-duty cars and trucks.

Air District Events

Upcoming Events

Look for the Air District’s outreach table at the following upcoming events.


Sonoma County Fair - Santa Rosa
Aug. 3-12 

Fremont Festival of the Arts - Fremont
Aug. 4 

ASIC (Air Sensor) Conference - Oakland 
Aug 6-Sept 3 

EHP Community Blockfest - East Palo Alto
Aug. 11 

Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes - Los Gatos 
Aug. 11-12 

Livermore Health Fair – Livermore
Aug. 15

Aug. 18

Mystery Route Sunday Streets - San Francisco
Aug. 19 

Commuter Fair - Palo Alto
Aug. 23 


Millbrae Art & Wine Festival (Miramar event)- Millbrae
Sept. 1-2

Mountain View Art & Wine Festival (Miramar event)- Mountain View
Sept. 8-9

Western Addition Sunday Streets - San Francisco
Sept. 9

Diesel Free by 33 Conference – San Francisco
Sept. 12

Healthy Living Festival – Oakland
Sept. 13

Eat Real Festival – Oakland
Sept 14-16 

Viva Calle - San Jose 
Sept. 23

Tenderloin #2 Sunday Streets  - San Francisco
Sept. 23

Sonoma County Fall Home Show - Santa Rosa
Sept  28-30


Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival (Miramar event) – Half Moon Bay
Oct 13- 14

Excelsior #2 Sunday Streets – San Francisco
Oct. 14

Marin Music Festival (SRES Event) - San Rafael
Oct. 20

San Jose Dia De Los Muertos – San Jose
Oct. 20

San Jose Fall Home Show – San Jose
Oct 20-21

Gilead Benefit & Commuter Fair – Foster City
Oct. 23  

Bay Area Air Quality Management District
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