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Home > Natural Resources > Air Quality Resources, Compliance and Solutions

Bay Area Air Quality Grants Aim to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Through Neighborhood Projects

Bay Area Air Quality Management District grants of $3 million aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

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California Green Chemistry Initiative December 20, 2007 -- Bay Area Air Quality Management District awarded 53 grants worth $3 million for projects aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

The grants, of as much as $75,000 apiece, will to go cities, counties and environmental organizations to fund efforts from educational programs for children to Berkeley's wide-ranging financing scheme to place solar panels on homes.

The goal of the Climate Protection Grant Program is to reduce greenhouse gases in the Bay Area by 350,000 tons within the next five years - roughly the amount of carbon dioxide spewed by 70,000 cars driven each day for a year.

The move is the regional district's most far-ranging effort to address global warming issues, and it is believed to be the largest program of its kind in the nation. The 53 grants were selected out of a total of 80 applications.

Much of the funding will go toward projects by cities that will be incorporated into five-year general plans. Among them are efforts to

  • Place new housing closer to transportation
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Increase recycling
  • Build more environmentally friendly, or "green," homes

Projects with more immediate impacts on the environment include Berkeley's plan to establish special 20-year property tax assessments to allow homeowners to pay for the installation of solar panels. The program includes incentives to reduce household energy by installing energy-efficient appliances. A similar solar panel project is being funded in Contra Costa County.

The money also went to youth programs, including one in Sonoma County in which sixth-graders are trained to make changes in their homes that reduce energy consumption.

In addition, the Marin Conservation Corps will get $25,000 for its Cancel-a-Car program being taught to elementary and middle school students in 24 schools. The students in this program make energy-reducing changes to their homes - and the carbon dioxide saved is added up until it equals the amount that a car spews into the environment.

Programs will train youths in West Oakland to plant shade trees in their neighborhoods.

Citizens in the Bay Area will be taught to conduct energy audits of neighbors and their own homes.

For information on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Climate Protection Program, including grant recipients, go to:


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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