For today’s air quality forecast click here: http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/forecast.htm
Why is our air so bad?
The San Joaquin Valley Air Basin is approximately 250 miles long and is shaped like a narrow bowl. The sides and southern boundary of the “bowl” are bordered by mountain ranges. The Valley’s weather conditions include frequent temperature inversions, long, hot summers, and stagnant, foggy winters, all of which are conducive to the formation and retention of air pollutants.
The bowl-shaped Valley collects and holds emissions caused by the activities of the Valley’s three million residents and their two million vehicles, as well as vehicles from other areas traveling on Highway 99 and Interstate 5. In addition, pollutants are also transported into the Valley from the Bay Area and the Sacramento Valley. These characteristics cause the San Joaquin Valley to be unusually susceptible to significant air pollution problems.
How much comes from other areas?
Air pollution transported from the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas account for approximately 27% of the total emissions in the Northern portion of the District (San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced Counties). In the Central region (Fresno, Madera and Kings Counties), the percentage drops to 11%, and in the south valley (the Valley portion of Kern and Tulare Counties), transported air pollution accounts for only 7% of the total problem.
While some of our pollution is blown in from other areas, most of our air pollution is home grown and it is our responsibility to clean it up.
What causes air pollution?
“Mobile sources” include light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles and motorcycles. Non-road mobile sources include construction equipment, farm tractors, trains, ships, aircraft, mobile equipment, and utility equipment such as lawn mowers and chain saws. “Stationary sources” include industrial facilities, stores such as gas stations and dry cleaners. “Area sources” include consumer products (for example, deodorants, and nail polish), house paints, pesticides, agricultural burning, and small commercial sources such as gas stations and dry cleaners. “PM10 sources” generally fall into two categories: human (anthropogenic) activity and natural sources (nonanthropogenic). Anthropogenic sources include agricultural operations, industrial processes, combustion of wood or fossil fuels, earthmoving activities, and entrainment of road dust into the air. Nonanthropogenic sources include windblown dust and wildfires.
What health problems does air pollution cause?
Often invisible, but harmful, air pollution threatens the health and well being of all living creatures. Some health effects of smog and other types of air pollution include:
- Irritation of mucous membranes
- Coughing and wheezing
- Chest pain and tightness
- Dry throat
Air pollutants such as ground-level ozone and particulate matter can aggravate chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. When exposed to high levels, people may experience shortness of breath, pain during deep breaths, and impaired lung function.
What does TCAG do about air quality?
TCAG educates the public regarding air quality issues via public outreach campaigns. TCAG also alleviates air quality issues by preventing and alleviating congestion on our roadways, expanding public transit by improving and expanding existing infrastructure and optimizing routes, and promoting active transit such as walking or biking by improving upon and creating new bicycle paths.
Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ)
The purpose of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program is to fund transportation projects or programs that will contribute to meeting national ambient air quality standards by relieving congestion and improving air quality. Tulare County receives approximately $4.5 million a year in CMAQ funds.
Call for Projects
About every two years, TCAG announces a call for projects for CMAQ funds. During this time, member agencies are given the opportunity to submit projects that they would like to receive CMAQ funding. The last two calls for projects were released in September 2009 and January 2011.
TCAG has approved CMAQ policies regarding how projects are selected and how those funds will be allocated. Cost effective projects shown to be the most successful at improving air quality are typically given funding priority.
For additional information on the CMAQ program, please contact TCAG by calling (559) 623-0450.
Posts and Documents
Woodlake completed their roundabout and plaza in downtown in October of 2016. Measure R, State, Local, and Federal funding helped complete this project.
This event was hosted by Alpaugh Elementary to celebrate the end of the school year; kids got to enjoy water slide, and multiple fun booths! TCAG partnered with Alpaugh Elementary to provide important bike safety lessons. 60 helmets were distributed and properly fitted to students. Hundreds of reusable bike lights were given to children who answered bike safety questions correctly. Overall it was a very successful event that reached hundreds of kids in the community of Alpaugh.
TCAG staff helped support a local Cub-Scouts bike rodeo in the City of Tulare on May 20th. The event featured obstacle courses for children, a helmet safety demonstration, and a “Slow race,” where kids try to ride their bike as slow as possible in a straight line without letting their feet touch the ground. Whoever gets there last wins! The Tulare City Police Department also showed up to educate children about how to ride safely. Helmets were offered by TCAG which were obtained by a grant to children who needed one.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held May 24th in Tulare County for the Betty Drive interchange. When the project is complete, commuters in the area will have a smoother and safer experience entering/exiting State Route 99. “This project would not have happened without the vital funding that Measure R is providing,” said Caltrans District 6 Director Sharri Bender Ehlert. “Investments like Measure R are what get local improvement projects to the construction stage, providing important highway improvements, enhancing mobility, and improving safety across the Central Valley.”
Safety is #1 because you only get one body. At Porterville’s PD’s event at the Walmart parking lot in Porterville, CA, in partnership with Step-Up which helps mentor kids and teens, TCAG helped put on a great bike rodeo. It included an obstacle course, a safety demonstration, brake demonstration, and a watermelon smashing with and without a helmet, with great interaction between law enforcement and the public. The prime message we got out for the day was wear your helmet, wear it properly, get your brakes fixed and installed, ride with traffic and not against, and follow the law. TCAG would like to remind everyone that biking is free exercise, great for your heart, and for the environment! Thanks to all the other booths who showed up and helped sponsor the event, including Step-Up, Walmart, the Girl Scouts, Casa, the Tulare County Sheriff, and Family Care Network.
Visalia’s Highland Gardens won a 2017 Blueprint award on March 10th – Highland Gardens is a 36 two and three bedroom apartment community complete with a playground, community center and community garden. This apartment community also features energy star appliances, a solar power systems and water conservation components.
City of Woodlake’s Downtown Revitalization project also won a 2017 Blueprint award. This project brought new street lamps, sidewalks, landscaping, and crosswalks which attracted new businesses to the city.
The Blueprint Awards highlight on the ground, existing projects that exemplify the Blueprint Principles. There are 12 Smart Growth Principles that represent the core values of the Valley and are used as the basis of future Blueprint Planning and implementation.
The adopted 12 Smart Growth Principles are:
1.Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
2.Create walkable neighborhoods
3.Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration
4.Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
5.Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost-effective
6.Mix land uses
7.Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas
8.Provide a variety of transportation choices
9.Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
10.Take advantage of compact building design
11.Enhance the economic vitality of the region
12.Support actions that encourage environmental resource management
On March 1, 2017, 30 members of the eight-county San Joaquin Valley Policy Council (SJVPC) traveled to Sacramento to participate in the 7th annual Valley Voice Trip. The all-day event featured meetings with key transportation officials, staff and Central Valley legislative delegation members. TCAG was represented by Woodlake Mayor Rudy Mendoza who is serving as the Chairman of the Policy Council and Supervisor Kuyler Crocker. Topics covered included the three proposed transportation bills: SB-1, AB-1 and the Governor’s proposal. The SJVPC expressed its support for restoring critical funding for the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as it would immediately restore money taken from the Highway 99 widening project and other highway projects throughout the county. The STIP funding is the critical funding and leveraging component for the regional Measure R Projects. Instead of restoring the STIP, the new bills create a new program to fund goods movement projects through increases in transportation revenues, part of which would come from an increase in the gas tax. Other topics covered included relief from recent air quality regulations, cap and trade funding, Amtrak and interpretations on Federal exemptions to environmental review requirements.
The Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) is pleased to announce the winners of the 6th Annual Local Motion Awards Luncheon. This event gave us the opportunity to honor the projects, citizens, public officials, and plans that have contributed to transportation planning in Tulare County. See our photos below, and here is a link to all high-resolution photos taken at the event:
Download all Photos (large file)
Santa Fe Trail Pedestrian Grade Separation
City of Tulare
Parkside Avenue Improvement Project
City of Lindsay
Noble Ave Roundabout at SR 198
Eastbound Ramp and Farmersville Blvd
City of Farmersville
Innovative and Sustainable Transportation Projects:
Fiber Optic Connectivity for Traffic
Signal Interconnection (Fire Station to City Hall)
City of Visalia
Woodlake Roundabout Project
City of Woodlake
Outstanding Road Projects:
Visalia Parkway Culvert Crossing
City of Visalia
Tooleville Safe Routes to School Project
County of Tulare
Outstanding Elected Official:
City of Porterville
Outstanding Public Employee:
Caltrans-District 6 Planning
Social Services Transportation Provider:
Paratransit Dispatch Software
Implementation (Easy Rides)
City of Visalia
Low Carbon Transit
Operations Program Project
County of Tulare
This year we had the highest amount of submissions ever, at 350. 6 winners were selected, scored by our Active Transportation Advisory Committee and TCAG employees. The drawings delivered messages of responsible transportation choices, including walking, skateboarding, biking, and much more. The goal of the contest is to create an air quality awareness to help make Tulare County air more breathable for a brighter future. The program was made possible from a Caltrans grant called “Bike and Stride,” which has allowed outreach to thousands of kids across the county, delivering a message that biking is cool, and reminding kids that safety is number one. Bikes were made possible via donations from Eisen-Letunic, Quad-Knopf, Nelson-Nygaard, Southwest Strategies, Southern Sierra Cyclists, with local discounts provided by Visalia Cyclery and Cyclery Express.
Congratulations to our winners! Brisa Romero, Kortney Hamilton, Seneca Sowers, Kailani Minugh, Lucy Hiatt, and Alice Warner.
Runner ups have been selected to be featured at the ImagineU Museum in downtown Visalia, and possibly other venues. More information will be posted on our homepage if other venues become available.
The Bike & Stride program continues to reach out to schools across Tulare County. TCAG visited Pixley Elementary School Harvest Festival, Co-sponsored the Exeter Youth Bike Rodeo and made stops at City of Tulare Expanded Learning Programs. Bike & Stride’s goal is to promote bike and pedestrian safety for kids in a fun and interactive way, and to promote use of safety equipment and informing kids of the rules of riding, and the rules of the road. Bike and Stride also promotes air quality improvement through the Walk & Roll Air Quality Art Contest, and informs kids at the outreach events of how their behavior can positively impact the world.
Exeter Youth Bike Rodeo
Pixley Harvest Festival
B.E.S.T. Club - Mission Valley
Boys & Girls Club - Tulare
Exeter Youth Bike Rodeo
Woodlake completed their roundabout downtown and plaza in downtown earlier in October, Measure R, State, Local, and Federal funding helped complete this project.
How can we help keep our air clean? Walking, Biking, Skateboarding? Draw your ideas! Enter into our art contest, 5 winners get a bike!
For Grades K-12. Please use an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet to create your poster. Please put name, grade, school, and phone number on the back of your art. Winners will be awarded a bike at our December 12th board meeting. Submit entries to your local library or 210 N. Church St., Suite B, Visalia, CA 93291. Contact Brideget Moore or Philip Shabanov @ 559-623-0450 with questions. Please put a helmet on any riders on your art submission.
Remember, it’s SUPER COOL to WALK AND ROLL to school! Celebrate Walk and Roll to School day November 10th by walking or rolling to school.
NOW AVAILABLE: On September 19, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Tulare County Association of Governments adopted the 2017 Federal Transportation Improvement Program, 2014 Regional Transportation Plan Amendment No. 1, and the corresponding Conformity Analysis. State and Federal approval are required. A copy of documents is available below:
For more information see our FTIP page:
210 North Church St. Suite B.
Visalia, California 93291
Dinuba Exeter Farmersville Lindsay Porterville Tulare Visalia Woodlake County of Tulare
August 2, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Brideget Moore BMMoore@nulltularecog.org
Southern Sierra Cyclists to make a donation to Bike N’ Stride-Tulare County
Southern Sierra Cyclist is scheduled to make a donation of $500.00 to the Tulare County Association of Governments Bike N’ Stride-Tulare County for the purchase of bicycle helmets to extend the outreach efforts to promote continued bike and pedestrian safety endeavors.
TCAG was awarded a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5304 Sustainable Communities Grant in April 2015 to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety in Tulare County. The program was named the Bike N’ Stride program. Its goal was to enhance existing bike and pedestrian outreach efforts to include underserved communities and elementary school age kids as well as ensure that future transportation investments would better reflect the needs of our county.
TCAG partnered with local law enforcement, rail safety staff, and the Active Transportation Advisory Committee to engage the public in safe walking and biking practices through live demonstrations, providing bike and pedestrian safety equipment, and increased access to information. TCAG was able to reach well over 600 kids in addition to their families at elementary school events. Through outreach and interaction with other community partners and based on law enforcement and agencies requests, there is a greater need for partnering to provide safety information and bicycle helmets to kids. As the FTA grant funds near their end, new resources, such as donations, are sought to continue the work of the Bike N’ Stride program.
TCAG would like to extend their appreciation to Southern Sierra Cyclists for their partnering efforts at the Tulare County Association Board Meeting.
Date: Monday, August 15, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Lindsay Wellness Center
860 N. Sequoia
Lindsay, CA 93247
TCAG releases the 2017 Draft FTIP, 2014 RTP Amendment No. 1, 2017 Draft “Exempt Project FTIP” and corresponding Draft Conformity Analysis for public review.
The Tulare County Association of Governments is proposing a Draft 2017 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (Draft 2017 FTIP) and 2014 RTP Amendment No. 1, Draft 2017 Federal Transportation Improvement Program without regionally significant capacity-increasing transportation projects (2017 “Exempt Project” FTIP), and the corresponding Draft Conformity Analysis. The public review and comment period is open for 30 days commencing on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 and ending on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Comments are due by 5:00 PM on September 1, 2016.
A public hearing on the Draft FTIP documents will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Lindsay Wellness Center, 860 N. Sequoia, Lindsay, CA 93247. Comments are due by 5 p.m. on September 1, 2016. These documents can also be viewed on the TCAG website at www.tularecog.org. Adoption of the 2017 FTIP, 2014 RTP Amendment No. 1 and the corresponding Conformity Analysis OR the 2017 “Exempt Project” FTIP and the corresponding Conformity Analysis is anticipated at the September 19, 2016 TCAG Board meeting. Please see the draft documents below.
All fixed bus routes in Tulare County are now on Google Maps! This allows a rider to just select their starting point and destination and find out how easy it is to take the bus. If you have never tried taking the bus, see how easy it may be. Your daily commute could be replaced with a comfortable and relaxing ride on a bus, and Google Maps makes it easier to ever before for first time riders to figure out what can be very complicated for first time riders. If the bus stop is far try riding your bike there. If you already take the bus, try out Google Transit. Here is a quick demonstration on how to use it. The practice is virtually the same on a mobile device. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any issues in Google Maps that conflict with the Transit Guide.
See a demo here:
Google Maps Visalia Example
As part of a grant from Caltrans, TCAG was able to do some exceptional outreach this year to local communities promoting biking and walking as a healthy and smart alternative to driving a vehicle. Part of this included a request from our local Granite Hills High School in Porterville, CA to create bike awareness videos, focusing on the benefits of biking, as well as safety and riding tips. They turned out fantastic, and TCAG would like to thank the kids for all of their hard work, and recognize staff Janice Rodriguez and Adam Thompkins for their advising.
All videos are viewable on TCAG’s Youtube channel at:
TCAG reached out to a local school in Visalia, Washington Elementary, with bike and active transportation (walking, skateboarding, etc) reach out, reminding kids why biking is awesome and how to be safe. More to come in the schedule below.
Bike & Stride Public Outreach
Location Address Time
April 7, 2016 500 S. Garden St. Visalia, CA 93277 4:30-6 PM
April 14, 2016 16030 Avenue 332 Ivanhoe, CA 93235 4-7 PM
May 12, 2016 6505 Avenue 308 Visalia, CA 93291 4-7 PM
April 22-24, 2016 34902 CA-190, Springville, CA 93265 Fri-7PM-9PM, Sat-7AM-9PM, 7AM-2PM
May 7-8, 2016 19400 Ave 398, Woodlake, CA 93286 Sat-10AM-6PM Sun 10Am-2PM
May 11-15, 2016 2700 W. Teapot Dome Ave. Porterville, CA 93257 4-10pm W-F, Sat. noon-11pm, Sun -noon-8pm
Thank you for all your efforts. It was a very competitive year, with over 500 awesome drawings given to us by kids and young adults throughout Tulare County. Here are the ones our judges selected for winning a free bike, with awards presented at the TCAG Board Meeting today!
ARB (Air Resources Board) releases Evaluations of Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS) for KGAG & TCAG
ARB Staff’s Technical Evaluations of the SCSs for the Kings and
Tulare MPO regions are now posted. The staff of the California
Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) has completed its technical
reviews of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions
quantifications for the SCSs of the Kings County Association of
Governments (KCAG) and the Tulare County Association of
Governments (TCAG). Two separate staff reports have been
completed to document the staff’s findings that each of these
SCSs would, if implemented, achieve the regional GHG emissions
targets set by the Board. The staff reports are available from
ARB’s SB375 website at http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/sb375/sb375.htm
Background: California State law (the Sustainable Communities
and Climate Protection Act of 2008, Sustainable Communities or SB
375, Statutes of 2008) requires each of the State’s Metropolitan
Planning Organizations (MPO) to prepare an SCS to meet the
regional GHG emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2035, set by
the Board. The statute also requires ARB to review each MPO’s
determination that its SCS would, if implemented, achieve the GHG
emission reduction targets.
On October 22, 2015, the Board will consider whether to accept or
reject each of the determinations by KCAG and TCAG that their
SCSs would meet the targets for 2020 and 2035. ARB staff is
recommending that the Board accept the SCSs as meeting the
targets. These items will be on the consent agenda and therefore
there will be no staff presentation. The agenda for the October
22, 2015 public meeting is posted at
Public Meeting Information:
Date: October 22, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: South Coast Air Quality Management District
21865 Copley Drive
Diamond Bar, California 91765
Directions, transportation options, and parking information for
the public meeting are available at: http://www.aqmd.gov/contact
For more information regarding the technical evaluation and staff
report for KCAG’s greenhouse gas determination, please contact
Ms. Sarah Dominguez, Air Pollution Specialist, at
email@example.com or (626)450-6243.
For more information regarding the technical evaluation and staff
report for TCAG’s greenhouse gas determination, please contact
Ms. Amy Volz, Air Pollution Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
If you don’t normally walk or bike to school, tomorrow is International Walk or Bike to School day! Cities around the country have been planning safer routes to school, find more information here or call Andrea at TCAG @ (559) 623-0462:
Take the bus in Visalia for free on October 30th, November 27th, and December 18th*. See all the new and exciting things Visalia Transit has to offer and help our environment!
*Please note December 18th is the last “Friday” of the month because the last Friday falls on Christmas, when Visalia Transit is closed.
TCAG’s 2008 Ozone Air Quality Conformity Analysis for the amended 2013 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) and 2011 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is now available. For more information on air quality conformity please contact Elizabeth Wright.
For additional information on the program, please contact TCAG by calling (559) 623-0450.
Air Quality Essay & Poster Contest
Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) participates in a number of programs dedicated to reducing pollution and improving air quality. Each year TCAG holds an Air Quality Essay and Poster Contest asking students to submit an essay, poster, or video expressing their ideas on how to improve the air in our community. The 2012 winners received a bike or a Kindle Fire.
Grand Prize Winner
- Andrew Arriaga – Grade 10 from Golden West High School
Grade Level Winners
- Allie Sousa – Grade 12 from Mission Oak High School
- Jessica McClaren – Grade 8
- Kristy Aviles – Grade 5 from Heritage Elementary School
- Hermalinda Pantosa-Perez – Grade 2 from Reagan Elementary