Comite Civico and MFN team identify EJ and health needs in the Imperial Valley

Last week, Moving Forward Network and Comite Civico Del Valle (CCV) staff teamed up for a tour of Brawley, California, the neighboring Salton Sea, and the nearby border cities of Calexico, California, and Mexicali, in the Mexican state of Baja California.

Pictured below are Lauren Breynaert and Angelo Logan of the MFN, with Humberto Lugo and Luis Olmedo of CCV.  The second photo is of diesel trucks at the border against a backdrop of grey sky.

Brawley is a town of about 25,000 residents who are subjected to multiple sources of air pollution, including Mexicali, a city of almost 1 million people; the Salton Sea, which is drying up and releasing toxic dust contaminated with agricultural chemicals and other pollutants; heavy goods movement traffic to and from the border, Long Beach, and other freight hubs; energy generation plants; and industrial farms.  As a result, Imperial County residents have the second-highest rate of asthma in the state, and face many other air-pollution-related health threats

ivan-imperial-valley-clipFortunately, Brawley is also home to Comite Civico Del Valle (CCV), and other groups with partners throughout the state and nation that are making big changes.  CCV and their partners have implemented the innovative IVAN Environmental Justice Monitoring and Reporting Network in Imperial County as well as in other parts of the state, which allows citizens to report environmental problems and to manage and track them with a collaborative task force.

In the next week or so they and their partners are making another big improvement, implementing a network of 40 advanced air pollution monitors that will continually measure particulate matter levels (PM10 and PM2.5), and report them through IVAN.  This will allow residents better information for protecting their health on a day-to-day basis, and collect detailed information needed to identify pollution sources and determine how to reduce pollution.  To learn more about these innovative programs and check out some great photos, click the news articles below.

Tracking asthma threats in the Imperial Valley’s hazy air, Desert Sun

“It is Up to Us”: Citizen Science in Imperial County, Sierra Club California/Nevada Desert CommitteeDesert Report