Printable FAQ - April 2011 (727KB)
- What is the Gateway Cities Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP)?
- Who is the lead agency in preparing the AQAP?
- Why prepare an AQAP?
- What health risks are of concern to the residents in the Gateway Cities?
- What is the I-710 Corridor Project EIR/EIS and how does it relate to the AQAP?
- Doesn't the I-710 Environmental Impact Report /Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) include similar studies?
- What is the role of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG) and the AQAP Committees in addressing air quality and health issues?
- How has the policy environment changed since the action by the Oversight Policy Committee requesting that the GCCOG prepare an AQAP?
- How will the AQAP be implemented?
- When can I provide input?
The Gateway Cities AQAP is a long term plan intended to improve air quality and public health through identifying additional measures to reduce emissions. The AQAP was requested by the I-710 Oversight Policy Committee (OPC) and subsequently authorized by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board to evaluate air quality and health impacts. In addition, the AQAP will evaluate the effectiveness of emission reduction measures on the future air quality and health risks in the Gateway Cities.
The Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG) is responsible for preparing the AQAP with administrative management and support from Metro.
When the Locally Preferred Strategy to improve the I-710 was approved by the OPC in November 2004, they determined that air quality was the number one priority and that an AQAP would be an asset in evaluating all of the air quality improvement opportunities in the Gateway Cities.
Diesel particulates are a major concern to residents in the Gateway Cities and a known carcinogenic risk. According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), approximately 33 percent of diesel particulate emissions in the South Coast Air Basin come from exhaust produced by heavy-duty diesel trucks. The I-710 experiences high heavy-duty truck volumes resulting in high concentrations of diesel particulate emissions within the I-710 corridor as well as criteria pollutants ( Particulate Matter (PM), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Nitrogen Oxides NO x ).
Metro and its funding partners are preparing the I-710 Corridor Project EIR/EIS to analyze alternatives for improving I-710 from Ocean Boulevard in the City of Long Beach to SR-60, a distance of 18 miles. The purpose of the proposed I-710 Corridor Project is to more efficiently and safely accommodate projected traffic volumes forecast for 2035, while improving air quality as a primary objective. The AQAP was requested by the I-710 OPC and subsequently authorized by the Metro Board to evaluate specific air quality and health impacts within Gateway Cities and to recommend specific measures to further improve air quality. The I-710 Corridor Project EIR/EIS evaluates proposed improvements as a project recommendation, while the Gateway Cities AQAP evaluates the entire Gateway Cities subregion.
6. Doesn't the I-710 Environmental Impact Report /Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) include similar studies?
Yes, an Air Quality and Health Risk Assessment (AQ/HRA) is being prepared for the I-710 EIR/EIS to ensure a thorough examination of air quality and health risk of the alternatives being considered in that EIR/EIS. This is the first time such an Air Quality and Health Risk Assessment (including near-roadway modeling and analysis) has been included in a major freeway study in California. The I-710 EIR/EIS also includes many additional health-related analyses, including noise, community impacts, visual impacts, safety and congestion and mobility. The AQAP is intended to provide additional information to address issues beyond the information being presented in the I-710 EIR/EIS. The AQAP will conduct an HRA for all of the Gateway Cities subregion.
7. What is the role of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG) and the AQAP Committees in addressing air quality and health issues?
The roles of GCCOG and AQAP Committees include:
- Developing the AQAP (to be completed in 2012);
- Evaluation and analysis of existing studies, projects and programs;
- Advocacy for adequate funding from all sources for air quality improvement programs;
- Monitoring existing programs and projects for strategies, progress and effectiveness;
- Reporting function for elected officials, staff and communities;
- Suggestions for existing or additional air quality programs;
- Advocacy for health related issues and programs;
- Providing testimony and input to other agencies;
- Working with local communities to implement local air quality improvement strategies and programs; and
- Participating in air quality programs where applicable.
Local participation in the AQAP will greatly determine the effectiveness of this process.
8. How has the policy environment changed since the action by the Oversight Policy Committee requesting that the GCCOG prepare an AQAP?
It has been a time of significant progress in the development of policy, programs, projects, regulations and legislation to address the air quality impacts of trucks, cargo handling equipment, locomotives, shops, and other pollution sources that heavily impact the Gateway Cities. The San Pedro Bay Ports, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all have proposed, developed and drafted new regulations and emission reductions programs and projects that are already reducing air pollution. Many of these measures directly and indirectly address the recommendations for air quality improvement initiatives proposed in the I-710 Tier 2 Report (a community based report on recommendations for improvements in the I-710 corridor). These new developments have materially altered the policy debate from the summer of 2004, when many of the issues discussed in the I-710 Tier 2 report were only beginning to be analyzed.
Any measures proposed for inclusion in the AQAP would require a third party to implement since the Metro and GCCOG have no authority to require, implement or regulate air quality improvement measures. To be effective, the AQAP will require the consent and agreement of other public agencies such as: CARB, SCAQMD, EPA, Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, etc. That is why the I-710 OPC requested the development of an approach to holding public agencies with jurisdiction in the corridor accountable for progress in meeting air quality and public health objectives in the subregion.
There will be many opportunities for you to participate in the AQAP. Public meetings will be held through 2011 and 2012. The purpose of these meetings is to provide an understanding of the AQAP and to engage stakeholders in providing feedback and input into the process.
You may submit comments at "Comment Form". You can also visit the Gateway Cities web site at www.gatewaycog.org for project information or to submit comments.
You are also welcome to send comments to Metro or the Gateway Cities Council of Governments:
Via e-mail to : email@example.com
Via letter to :
Adrian Alvarez, Project Manager
Richard Powers, Executive Director