Hosts Clean Air Day & Unveils First Air Monitors for South Oxnard
A resounding 91,000 people took the pledge thanks to the Port of Hueneme bringing Clean Air Day to Ventura and Santa Barbara counties as the founding host. The Port of Hueneme spent this summer rallying with various public agencies and nonprofits to bring awareness to reducing air emissions throughout the region. A variety of Clean Air events led up to the official Clean Air Day on October 2, 2019.
Southwinds community and AIRE members celebrate with the Port
“It is only fitting that the Port would be the founding host of Clean Air Day for our counties,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Herrera. “Since 2008, the Port has reduced air emissions by 85%. No other agency has done this, and we are proud to carry the banner for clean air day, standing ready to continue being a champion for our local environment.
Through the power of social media, promotion at the Banana Festival, and partnering with local agencies across both counties; thousands of local residents have taken the clean air day pledge. Local residents join over 1.2 million Californians in making a conscious effort to promote clean air for their communities on October 2nd. The Port has registered the second highest number of pledges across the state, with over 165,000 people registering in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, exceeding their goal of 100,000.
“Today is another example of the Port taking the lead and showing through our actions that we are committed to continuing to reduce air emissions for our local community,” said Jason Hodge, Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner. “We have a responsibility to continue greening our Port operations, and through the introduction of the first scientific grade air monitors we will be able to identify how to best invest to achieve further reductions.”
The Port’s air monitors will measure particulate matter, wind direction and intensity, and temperature. The monitors will serve as a reference point for the smaller handheld monitors throughout the county to be calibrated, improving their accuracy and the validity of their data collection.
VCAPCD Officer Laki Tisopulos; Dustin Friedman, Evelyn Jimenez and Principal Julianne Pena of Haycox Elementary School, and Hueneme Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Christine Walker pose with the new air monitors
“A first of its kind for the county, these two air monitors are the starting point for us to get real inventory of the types of pollutants in our local air and gather data on how we can improve it,” said CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas. “The monitors represent a $140,000 investment, and the next step under the Port’s PHRESH Plan (Port of Hueneme Reducing Emissions, Supporting Health Plan). The Plan is a joint venture with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPD) charting the course forward to achieve the highest improvements in air quality for the local community with better a utilization of resources.”
Ventura County Air Pollution Control District Officer Laki Tisopulos stated, “The monitors that you see here today are the best of the best, the Cadillac, state of the art, congratulations to the Port.”
Laki Tisopolus explains the magnitude of the Port’s investment in clean air monitoring
Also present at the unveiling, Hueneme Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Christine Walker stated, “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Port in this next step of putting in an air quality monitor in our community, and specifically at our Haycox school. The staff is very excited about hosting this new equipment. Thank you to the Port, we are excited about this collaboration and to be moving forward by providing this great resource to the community.”
The Port’s new air monitors are the most technologically advanced air quality monitor system in the entire region. On the cutting edge of technology, this new system deploys lasers to measure the particulate matter in the air, as opposed to the previous system of using physical air filters. This new technology results in higher accuracy and more ready to share information. The Port has already seen various agencies around the state interested in switching to this successful new technology.
Brian Sheridan, Development Director for the Coalition for Clean Air applauded the Port’s commitment to hosting the day for the two counties stating, “The Port of Hueneme has been an invaluable partner in our California Clean Air Day efforts. Their support has helped us establish a community of clean air “pledgers” committed to improving the quality of life in the region. We can’t thank them enough for their support and for their efforts to continually reduce emissions at the Port.” As members of the South Oxnard and Hueneme community gathered at the Port for the unveiling of the air monitors, Southwind’s Neighborhood Council President Carolina Gallardo reflected, “I am excited because we will be able to monitor the quality of air for our residents and especially for our kids.”