Brief: LACCD receives environmental state funding

The Automobile Emissions Research and Technology Fund will grant the district a six-figure amount for research and development.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a $10 million grant for vehicle-related air pollution research for learning institutions across the state.

The Automobile Emissions Research and Technology Fund grant provides funding to public and nonprofit colleges and universities through grants for study, research and development to mitigate carbon emissions from automobiles. The LACCD will receive $719,567.81 of this money to support a public education campaign, encouraging the transition to zero-emission vehicles. This will be done through the monitoring and display of vehicle emissions and the impact they have on air quality.

The source of the money comes from the $10 million settlement paid by Volkswagen to the attorney general’s office following the 2015 diesel emissions scandal, in which the automotive company illegally concealed diesel-emission from its engines during EPA testing.

The grants come one year after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the 2035 goalpost of phasing out gas-powered vehicles in the state. The former executive order required all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state to be zero emission by 2035, with medium and heavy-duty vehicles having until 2045.

Although the district has not announced an in-depth plan on the type of campaign it will run with the funding, officials described the envisioned plan to target “underserved communities” and complement existing infrastructure.

“The LACCD is committed to long-term environmental sustainability and carbon neutral initiatives,” said Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Executive Ruben C. Smith in a press release. “The LACCD will use this grant to work directly with many of our under-served and disadvantaged communities in alignment with our focus on equity and social justice for the communities served by our nine colleges.”

Marcos Franco

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