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Clearing the air in the Coachella Valley

Public meeting in Palm Desert looks for answers to emission problems in Valley

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold a public meeting in Palm Desert today to review emission reduction project proposals.

Earlier this year, AQMD requested proposals for projects to reduce air pollution in the Coachella Valley. The projects will be funded by $53 million in mitigation fees from the Sentinel Energy Project, a power plant under construction near Desert Hot Springs, according to Benoit's office.

A "wide range" of proposals for projects throughout the valley were received, according to the AQMD. The district's governing board's Administrative Committee will review proposals at today's meeting at the Coachella Valley Water District, and the public can comment on the proposals.

Examples of potential emission reduction projects include school bus and heavy-duty truck retrofit or replacement, truck stop electrification, school air filtration systems, renewable-energy power products, and infrastructure improvements, such as paving dirt roads, developing parkways and installing electric vehicle charging or compressed natural gas fueling stations.

Proposals will be evaluated by the AQMD based on their achievement of the AQMD's air quality goals, job creation within the Coachella Valley, proponents' expertise and other criteria. The AQMD's governing board will award contracts to the top-ranked proposals.

The AQMD is the air pollution control agency for much of Southern California, including major portions of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties, and all of Orange County.

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