Conference provides venue for state officials and disadvantaged communities to interact and discuss programs that improve local air and water quality
(Carson, CA) Leaders from the City of Carson, Los Angeles County, higher education and local communities will come together Jan. 12 at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) for a first of its kind energy, water, and air quality conference focused on state programs that improve local environmental quality in disadvantaged communities.
The Organizing Disadvantaged Communities for Success conference is sponsored by CSUDH, the City of Carson, and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), and is funded by a $250,000 grant from LACI’s new Energize California initiative. The grant will fund the development of innovation workshops and events for students, faculty, staff and community members at five Los Angeles-area California State University (CSU) campuses over the next five years.
“One of the many corrosive effects of racial segregation in the United States is the unequal exposure of hazardous substances and wastes to communities of color,” said Carson City Council Member Jawane Hilton. “This first of its kind meeting of disadvantaged communities and the state is a necessary step in starting to improve the quality of life in our communities.”
California is developing grant programs to address many of the adverse impacts underserved communities in Southern California face that enable the implementation of solar, battery and advanced energy technologies. Many of the residents of local communities suffer disproportionately from the impacts of industry, rail and truck traffic on local air and water quality.
The daylong conference will provide the opportunity for open discussion among local mayors, city administrators, businesses, and community members during several group sessions focused on specific programs, which will be led by California officials responsible for implementing environmental improvement programs in underserved communities.
During lunch, Monica Palmeira, Outreach Program Manager of the Strategic Growth Council will provide remarks regarding new energy and environmental improvement grants that the state is implementing in 2018. The state estimates that more than $800 million in “cap and trade” revenues will be available annually to help to fund energy and environmental programs.
The conference will also include a “Toro Tank” competition, featuring cities presenting unique energy, air quality, or water projects to a panel of judges.
The clean energy sector is growing at a rapid pace as California reduces its dependence on fossil fuels. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 519,000 Californians are currently working in the clean energy industry and the number is expected to grow given the state’s ambitious clean energy goals.