Mary Sandoval

Mary Sandoval

Our children need clean air to grow up healthy.

Over the years, Fontana’s rapidly growing freeway expansions, warehouse infestation, and heavy duty industries have been approved, planned and built next to our homes and schools.

According to California’s Office of Health and Hazard Assessment CalEnviroScreen, Fontana ranks among the top cities for toxic air quality in the state, which defines us as a disadvantaged community. Our youth are most vulnerable and feel the impacts of pollution as they play outside, go to school and live their lives.

In any challenge, I believe that education provides the solution for a better future. This city is near to my heart and our schools have led innovations that have gathered more positive attention than any school district has before, especially for all of our on-campus clean energy generation.

Our solar power and storage installations and electric school buses have not only reduced pollution, but will save hundreds of thousands of dollars on our energy costs.

There are still plenty more solutions needed to improve our air quality, while upholding high standards in our communities, and we are proud of work toward that.

At Kaiser High School, students are learning on the forefront of clean energy and transportation technology with the CREATE program. Solar installation, electrical vehicles, and clean energy trades cover some of the technical education programs we are proud to support and will eventually grow to other campuses.

We have also just been awarded 10 additional electric school buses so that our youth can enjoy a safe and clean ride to school.

Cleaning up how power is generated on site, switching to zero emission vehicles, and having charging stations on campus can work in the private sector like the logistics and goods movement industry, where dirty gas and diesel trucks are wreaking havoc on our communities.

I believe many industries must take a page from our book so that our communities can breathe easier and decrease our risk for bad air-related illnesses and the costs that come with it.

One such solution to reduce pollution from warehousing is being debated right now.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has the authority to ensure that the warehousing industry updates their business models toward innovations like the ones in FUSD, in transportation electrification and clean energy called the Indirect Source Rule. It is crucial that our air basin passes such a rule so that we can see more electric warehouse equipment, trucks, and infrastructure installed for current and future generations to use and benefit from.

Your voice is needed to support such a law.

A community meeting was planned on March 18 at Kaiser High School to discuss the situation, but the AQMD announced that the meeting has been postponed and there is no new date.

We need a public policy process to hold the logistics and goods movement industries to invest in our community and prioritize green jobs and achieve our healthy climate goals.

For more information, contact Mr. Victor Juan at the South Coast Air Quality Management District here: vjuan@aqmd.gov

(Mary Sandoval is a grandmother, Fontana School Board member, and retired Job Corps associate. She has lived in Fontana for 32 years.)

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