City Council calls on water district, air regulators for improved air pollution monitoring

The Arvin City Council has unanimously passed a resolution calling for improved air pollution monitoring within this city in southeastern Kern County and throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Members of the Committee for a Better Arvin, Association of Irritated Residents and the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment brought the resolution before the council for consideration at its June 19th meeting.

“We in Arvin have the unhealthiest air in the nation,” said Sal Partido, Committee for a Better Arvin. “Although it is not the solution, fixing the monitor problem is a first step in trying to improve this situation. Let’s get monitors where they need to be.”

The resolution calls on the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work together to return a monitor to the water district property in Arvin. The monitor was unlawfully removed at the end of the 2010 ozone season.

“The removal of the Bear Mountain Boulevard Monitor makes it impossible for the air district to demonstrate compliance with the Clean Air Act,” said Laura Baker, an attorney with the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, Delano.

The resolution also calls for placement of monitors within the highest-risk urban and rural communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley and in foothill and mountain communities. “More monitors throughout the valley will help protect peoples’ health, our children’s future, and the economy,” said Baker.

Committee for a Better Arvin, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and El Comité para el Bienestar de Earlimart are the lead organizations in Kern and Tulare counties for the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition’s Stand for Clean Air campaign. Go to for more information and to read the resolution.

“This is our first step in a valley-wide campaign,” said CVAQ Director Kevin Hall. “The valley’s public health crisis can be fixed, but we can’t hope to get there without an effective monitoring system. That must start in Arvin.” CVAQ member organizations throughout the valley will be carrying this message forward throughout the 24,000-square-mile region.# # #

The Central Valley Air Quality Coalition is a partnership of more than 70 community, medical, public health, environmental and environmental justice organizations representing thousands of residents in the San Joaquin Valley unified in their commitment to improve the health of all Californians.