Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Air District, California Air Resources Board and San Francisco Department of Emergency Management announced today the launch of the state’s first Clean Air Center in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco. In the coming weeks, more than 300 Clean Air Centers will be available throughout the Bay Area, when air quality is poor due to wildfires.

Spare the Air Status

Clean Air Centers logo

Press Kit

Clean Air Centers are locations where residents can find respite from wildfire smoke during poor air quality. The Clean Air Center Program provides funding for county agencies in the Bay Area to create a network of Clean Air Centers to mitigate the adverse public health impacts due to wildfires. The program provides portable air cleaners or HVAC upgrades to schools and other buildings that can serve the public when air quality reaches unhealthy levels. More than 75 percent of Clean Air Centers in the Bay Area will benefit vulnerable communities most impacted by air pollution.

“As climate change increasingly drives longer, more intense wildfire seasons, it’s critical for residents to have access to clean, filtered air when smoke blankets the region,” said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the Air District. “Clean Air Centers offer a place for those who may not have access to clean air so they can protect their health from wildfire smoke.”

“Every wildfire season, we see smoke events impact some communities more than others,” said Liane Randolph, Chair of the California Air Resource Board. “These are often vulnerable communities already suffering from persistent air pollution. We are proud to stand alongside the Air District to launch the statewide Clean Air Center program to protect those who need it most during periods of increased exposure to wildfire smoke.”

“Over the past several years we have seen the impacts of wildfire smoke to San Francisco’s air quality, and more recently with worsening conditions and increasing regularity. We know that climate change impacts everyone, especially those who live in areas with higher pollution and fewer resources,” said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. “That's why I am grateful to the California Air Resources Board and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for proactively providing air cleaning equipment to jurisdictions like San Francisco. This allows us to equip community serving organizations so they can be places of respite for our residents during times of poor air quality.”

To better prepare, respond and build resiliency to catastrophic wildfires, the Air District worked with Assembly Member Buffy Wicks to sponsor Assembly Bill 836: Wildfire Smoke Clean Air Center Incentive Program for Vulnerable Populations. Governor Newson signed the bill in October 2019 and $3 million was allocated to the Air District for the nine-county Bay Area region through the California Air Resources Board for the development of a grant program. This program supplements other Air District efforts and actions from local offices of emergency services and the Red Cross to create a comprehensive network of Clean Air Centers in the region.

Also unveiled today was the Clean Air Centers logo, designed to help easily identify facilities in the statewide network of Clean Air Centers being established through this pilot program.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area. Connect with the Air District via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

View the press releaseLanguage Icon Globe.

Last Updated: 9/20/2022