The City of Arvin and nearby Lamont are part of a small, rural community in Southeast Kern County, and have long been recognized as one of the most air quality impacted areas of the Valley. A number of heavily trafficked highways pass nearby, including Hwy 184 and Hwy 223, contributing to overall emissions in the community. The community is also surrounded by agricultural operations, industrial sources, and emissions traveling downwind from the City of Bakersfield to the northwest.
The Arvin/Lamont community boundary area is approximately 43 square miles and has an estimated population of 41,000. The Arvin/Lamont community is impacted across a number of health and pollution indicators. Using the State CalEnviroScreen tool, the census tracts located within the proposed community rank in the top 15% statewide for overall CalEnviroScreen score, weighted for PM2.5 and ozone impacts, which represents a number of health and socioeconomic factors (asthma, cardiovascular disease, low birth weight, educational attainment, housing burdened low income households, linguistic isolation, poverty, and unemployment). Additionally, the Arvin/Lamont community was selected for the Institute for Local Government’s Boost Program in collaboration with the Strategic Growth Council, which has afforded them technical assistance with capacity building for air quality improvement and energy reduction. These efforts in the community allow the District and community to leverage resources to maximize benefits under AB 617.