Thank you for subscribing to the SLO County Air Pollution Control District's e-newsletter! Read on to find out about events and happenings at the Air District.
In this Issue

Upcoming Events
Earth Day 2011
Change Lanes- Bike Month 2011
New Grant Program
Pilot Projects Begin at Oceano Dunes
Particulate Matter
SLO Car Free
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Expansion
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Upcoming Events
April 23: Growing the Village: Earth Day 2011
April 27: APCD Fees Workshop
May 2011: Bike Month
May 2- 6: Air Quality Awareness Week
May 7: SLO Car Free at the National Train Day Celebration at LA Union Station
May 18: APCD Board Meeting at the County Board of Supervisors Chambers  
Come and Experience Earth Day 2011- Don't miss the APCD, SLO Car Free and Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition Booths!
 Earth Day Poster

To find out more about Growing the Village:Earth Day 2011 or to become a sponsor and/or exhibitor, visit http://earthdayalliance.com.
Join the Challenge: Bike Month 2011


Bike Month LogoBike Month is a national and local movement that occurs annually each May. San Luis Obispo County's Bike Month is a program of Rideshare, and is powered by dedicated and energetic volunteers in our community who like to have fun and ride bikes. San Luis Obispo County's Bike Month movement includes a wide spectrum of events and the online Commuter Bike Challenge. Bike Month matters; that's why we're challenging YOU to ride your bike ONCE during May and LOG IT ONLINE. We also hope you'll join us for some good times at one of our many events.


In other bike news, in February, APCD participated in the Madonna Inn Bike Path Dedication. The bike path was a successful mitigation project that resulted from the implementation of off-site CEQA mitigation for the Irish Hills Plaza Project. Madonna Enterprises, the project proponent, suggested the bicycle path as a way to mitigate air quality impacts from the Irish Hills Project while simultaneously assisting the City of SLO with the expansion of their Long-Range Bicycle Plan.  The new bicycle path is a highly visible addition to the City of SLO that promotes alternative transportation and a bike-friendly community.

APCD Gears Up to Launch New Grant Programs


APCD is moving forward to finalize contracts with local dealers and dismantlers to launch two new SLO County based grant programs. Both the Fleet Modernization Program and the Equipment Replacement Program work through a network of local dealers to assist applicants through the application process. The Equipment Replacement Program will replace old Tier 0, 1 or 2 equipment (e.g., ag tractor and other off-road equipment) with brand new equipment, and the Fleet Modernization Program provides funding to replace old heavy-duty trucks with low emitting new trucks. Applications are currently being taken for both programs.
If you have any questions regarding the Fleet Modernization Program please call Andy Mutziger at 805.781.5956 or Vince Kirkhuff at 805.781.4247 and for specific questions regarding the Equipment Replacement Program call Meghan Field at 805.781.1003.
Pilot Projects Begin at Oceano Dunes 

A team of scientists from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and staff from the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) and State Parks gathered at Oceano Dunes last week to install three, small-scale pilot projects that will be evaluated over the next thirty (30) days to assess their effectiveness and long-term viability in reducing particulate matter emissions from the Dunes.  High winds and dry conditions provide an ideal environment for measuring the movement of sand upwind, within, and downwind of the projects.

The three pilot projects that will evaluate the impact of sand movement include: 1) Surface Roughness with Straw Bales, 2) Effects of Vegetation, and 3) Vehicle Activity vs. Undisturbed Area.  Through a robust monitoring network, the pilot projects will be monitored daily over the next 30-days, with a report on the results due in mid-summer.  Initiation of the pilot projects marks a significant milestone towards the development of a long-term Particulate Matter Reduction Plan (PRMP) for the Dunes.  For more information on the elements of the pilot project visit the APCD's website.


Air Quality Awareness  

Air Quality Index

The daily and forecasted AQI plays a critical role in increasing awareness of air quality throughout SLO County, especially during the spring season when high wind events result in elevated particulate matter on the Mesa. The APCD recently launched a user-friendly map to illustrate daily and forecasted air quality values for all regions of SLO County.  In addition, the Times Press Recorder, Adobe Press and The Tribune News now include the AQI in the weather section of their newspapers. Advertisements have also been placed with KSBY TV that will run through the windy spring season to highlight the District's website and the availability of the daily AQI. See the air quality in your area. Click here.


AQI Kids Folders

School Outreach Efforts

In combination with the daily forecasted AQI, APCD is working with schools on the NIpomo Mesa to implement the AQI Flag Program that corresponds with the daily forecasted air quality. On March 15 a presentation was provided to the Lucia Mar Unified School District (LMUSD) Board to highlight the health impacts of particulate matter, air quality on the Mesa and the resources available to assist school officials to protect public health on local campuses. Working with local schools, faculty, teachers, parents and students is important to ensure they are informed of current air quality conditions that can affect their health. Many educational materials have been developed to assist teachers in incorporating the AQI into the daily science curriculum. Resources include: staff presentations for all grades, U.S. EPA's "Why is Coco Orange?" text book and brochures on particulate matter, AQI rulers and wheels and the Celebrate Clean Air Today folder (pictured to the left).  


SLO Car Free Program 


Whether it's saving green in your wallet, or a greener planet, awareness to SLO Car Free continues to expand.  Three new businesses recently joined the program (Chamisal Vineyards, Wally's Bicycle Works, and Custom House in Avila Beach), bringing the total to 39 local businesses registered to provide discounts to visitors who pledge to visit to the Central Coast without their cars.


The media is also picking up on this economical travel option and coverage for SLO Car Free has sky-rocketed in recent months.  In a recent e-newsletter issued by Frommer's Travel Guide, a web-based worldwide travel guide, SLO Car Free was spotlighted as a program that provides travelers with cost-effective solutions to ever increasing gas prices. 

APCD successfully secured the interest of two travel reporters with Discovery Channel's PlanetGreen.com who took a car-free trip to the Central Coast on March 17 and published their local adventures on the PlanetGreen.com
 website.  The reporters enjoyed a ride on Amtrak to SLO, local wine-tasting, Farmers' Market, fine dining at local restaurants, bike ride on the Bob-Jones Trail and a kayak trip in Morro Bay.


SLO Car Free went global and received international media attention with a mention from Austrailia on The Sydney Morning Herald's list of "North America's Top 20 Experiences" and received a nod from the California Adventure Sports Guide publication. 


Lastly, be sure to visit SLO Car Free at two of their upcoming events, Earth Day 2011 at El Chorro Regional Park in San Luis Obispo and at National Train Day at Union Station in Los Angeles.


New local businesses are always welcome! To be listed, at no charge, on the program's website, register online using either the General Business or Restaurant Membership Form at http://slocarfree.org/registration. If you have any questions, please contact Meghan at [email protected] 

Expansion of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations


The Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition (C5), in collaboration with the stakeholders in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, are working to secure grant funding to update and expand the network of public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the Highway 101 corridor.  First priority is to upgrade the existing EV charging stations with current recharging technology and secure grant funds to refurbish at no cost to our region.  The next step is to develop an EV Charging Infrastructure Plan to guide placement of new stations to connect local commuters as well as those traveling between Southern California and the Bay Area.  C5 recently completed an alternative fuel survey that identified the overall trend use of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) throughout SLO County, as well as other efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce vehicle miles traveled.  Over the past year, C5 and its members were successful in displacing 641,787 gallons of gasoline that resulted in 4,101 tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced.  With the support of a DOE grant, an intern from Cal Poly continues to assist C5 in the creation of an e-newsletter, website updates and follow-up with member support/requests.  Be sure to stop by C5's displays at Growing the Village: Earth Day 2011to learn more on the latest alternative fuel technologies.

SLO County Air Pollution Control District / 3433 Roberto Court / San Luis Obispo, California 93401 /