AQMD Releases RFP for Coachella Valley Air Quality Projects
PALM DESERT – The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) today issued a request for proposals for $53 million in air pollution reduction projects, to be funded by mitigation fees from the Sentinel Energy Project under construction near Desert Hot Springs. With the unanimous vote of the AQMD Governing Board Friday, 100 percent of this funding will be directed to projects exclusively in the Coachella Valley.
A copy of the RFP is available on AQMD’s Web site, www.aqmd.gov, and also on Supervisor Benoit’s Web site, www.rivco4.org/web/highlights/smfund.html. The deadline to submit a proposal is 5 p.m. June 8.
“AQMD staff and my office will work diligently with groups in our community to provide the technical help they need to prepare proposals that meet the requirements of this fund,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “I encourage those seeking one-on-one assistance to contact my office so that we may facilitate AQMD technical assistance.”
A bidder’s workshop will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 15 at the University of California, Riverside’s Palm Desert Campus at 75-080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Auditorium 1. AQMD personnel will also schedule four two day (Friday afternoon/Saturday morning) opportunities for one-on-one appointments with proposal proponents. Additional dates may be scheduled on an as needed basis.
Assembly Bill 1318, co-authored by then-Senator Benoit in 2009, allowed for the sale of
emissions credits from AQMD’s internal emission credit bank for the construction of the Sentinel
Energy Project. Under AB 1318, the mitigation fees received by AQMD are to be used for emission
reduction projects as follows:
• At least 30 percent must be spent on projects in environmental justice areas, which was designated in the Coachella Valley Friday;
• At least 30 percent must be spent on projects within a six-mile radius from the plant; and
• The remaining 40 percent can be spent on emission reduction projects at AQMD’s discretion
Proposals will be evaluated by AQMD based on their achievement of AQMD’s air quality goals, job creation within the Coachella Valley, proponents’ expertise and other criteria. AQMD’s Governing Board will award contracts to the top-ranked proposals.