Within those 20 years, the district has managed to replace over 7,300 heavy-duty vehicles with “cleaner” alternatives. These cleaner alternatives have no NOx emissions, a chemical that bakes in the summer heat and creates ground level ozone pollution, according to Heather Henkins, outreach and communications manager for the air district. According to DeYoung, the engines for this generation’s cleaner alternative vehicles, typically referred to as zero-emission engines, are about 90% cleaner than previous generations. DeYoung also said electric, full battery versions of trucks, including local delivery trucks and long haul trucks, are now coming to the market as they become more popular.
“They’re available, and [the San Joaquin Valley Air District] is funding them as quick as we can,” DeYoung said.
In addition to the $12.9 million, the air district’s governing board also approved plans to fund approximately $4 million for new incentive programs for the communities of Shafter and Stockton. The communities are two of four Valley communities prioritized by CARB to receive clean air resources available under the Assembly Bill 617’s (AB 617) Community Air Protection Program. This is a program made to improve the quality of life for California’s most disadvantaged communities through community-led efforts in regards to local air pollution concerns.
“The state of California uses CalEnviroScreen, and all the metrics that sort of feed that information to identify the disadvantaged communities burdened with pollution and other issues,” Heinks said. “They get selected through that AB 617 process.”