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State Funds Paying For More Air Pollution Monitoring In San Diego

Photo by Erik Anderson

A Prius with special gear in the trunk that allows it to sample air while driving on San Diego County roads in Barrio Logan's Chicano Park on May 5, 2019

San Diego County officials are getting a much more robust pollution tracking system, thanks to a new state grant.

San Diego County officials hope to have a much better picture of the region’s air pollution problems soon.

That’s because the California Air Resources Board is paying for 15 new movable air pollution monitors that can help pinpoint problems.

The $2.5 million grant comes from the state’s cap and trade program which sells carbon credits to polluters.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said all of the county’s residents deserve clean air.

“If we can monitor it, we can better address it, but the monitoring alone will not improve the air quality,” said Fletcher. “It’s the data we get from monitoring that will hold us accountable for actions we take to actually improve air quality.”

RELATED: San Diego Smog Among The Nation’s Worst

Disadvantaged communities suffer the most.

A child born in Barrio Logan is eight times more likely to develop asthma than a child born in La Jolla, according to Fletcher.

The state grant also pays for two cars to drive the counties main roads with a mobile air monitor. The air is sampled, recorded and uploaded where it can be put together.

The Air Pollution Control District’s Robert Kard says two mobile monitors will also drive local roads for a month.

“They’re driving every road 20 times, within this area, 12 census tracts and giving us a picture of pollution for particulate matter, for gasses," said Robert Kard of the Air Pollution Control District of the County of San Diego. “And so with that, we’ll look at their data on a 3D visual graph and we’ll be able to say we need to pinpoint something here. Let’s put our permanent samplers here.”

By Reporter Erik Anderson

San Diego officials are using a state grant to find out where the county has air pollution issues.

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Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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