Benoit Praises AQMD’s Thorough Review of Air Quality Improvement Projects
PALM DESERT – Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit on Friday thanked the South Coast Air Quality Management District for its thorough review of 75 applications for $53 million in air pollution reduction credits from the CPV Sentinel power plant mitigation fund.
“Clearly a great number of people are interested in improving air quality in the Coachella Valley. I appreciate the tremendous effort that went into submitting and evaluating so many detailed proposals,” said Benoit, a member of the AQMD board. “It appears the AQMD staff recommendations fully comply with funding guidelines regarding where these air quality improvement funds must be spent. I’m especially pleased that, thanks to the support of my fellow board members, all of this funding will stay here in the Coachella Valley.”
According to legislation that Supervisor Benoit co-authored while serving in the state Senate, at least 30 percent of the mitigation funding must be used within six miles of the plant near Desert Hot Springs, and at least 30 percent of the funding must be used in environmental justice areas. The remaining 40 percent could have been spent on emission reduction projects anywhere in the AQMD multi-county coverage area. However, Supervisor Benoit’s AQMD colleagues supported his argument that this funding should be allocated exclusively within the Coachella Valley.
Benoit said he looks forward to evaluating the proposals and staff recommendations when they come before the full AQMD board. Until he has an opportunity to fully review the staff recommendations, he won’t comment on the details of any specific proposal.
To review the proposals and for additional information from AQMD, use the following link: www.aqmd.gov/news1/2012/coachellavalleyPR.htm.
Members of the public may comment on the proposals between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at an AQMD administrative committee meeting at the Coachella Valley Water District in Palm Desert, 75-515 Hovley Lane East. The full board will vote on the proposals Nov. 2.