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CARB’s Environmental Justice Revamp

December 15, 2023

Source: ACT News

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617) into law in 2017 to accelerate environmental justice in the Golden State. The legislation initiated the Community Air Protection (CAPP) Program to create resources such as grant incentives that deliver emissions reductions to state-approved priority populations — low-income and disadvantaged communities. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), which manages CAPP, made news in October when it approved its five-year Blueprint 2.0 Strategy.

Clean transportation stakeholders and decision makers should take note of Blueprint 2.0 Strategy’s launch because the California Legislature has encouraged air districts to prioritize “zero-emission technologies wherever feasible.” Since 2017, the CAPP incentives have awarded approximately $470 million across nearly 3,700 projects through May 2023, with nearly $100 million of program dollars going to on-road transportation projects.

The incentives fund projects ranging from zero-emissions school buses in West Oakland to the nation’s first pair of electric mobile harbor cranes in San Diego’s Portside Environmental Justice Communities. These California neighborhoods comprise two of the 19 statewide communities on the AB 617 Selected Communities List. The Selected AB 617 Communities received a nomination and approval to join the list, enabling air districts and local leaders to create emissions reduction and air monitoring action plans to benefit these neighborhoods.

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