By Rosanna Esparza, Kern County Organizer
Clean Water Board Member, Vernice Miller-Travis and I spent a day in Bakersfield, CA with organizers and representatives of U.S. EPA Region 9, Central CA Environmental Justice Network and Global Community Monitor at a workshop examining community-based air monitoring projects and the importance of quality assurance plans.
The workshop identified ways for community partners and regulatory agencies to work together, learn more about Bucket Brigade Projects and understand each others’ priorities and needs.
Clean Water Action received a grant from the New World Foundation to conduct a feasibility pilot project to evaluate the establishment of community air monitors for collection of neighborhood-level air pollution data and to evaluate the use of this monitoring data to conduct targeted air sampling of specific chemicals.
Collaborators on the project: Residents of the community of Lost Hills, CA, University of Washington, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, Kern Environmental Enforcement Network and Earthworks.
By collecting this data we hope to enable residents and other concerned stakeholders to better characterize air pollution in the community and to use this information to support actions to reduce hazards and exposures along the fence line of oil and gas production.