The Mono County Board of Supervisors backed an amendment to its grant application that will be submitted to the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District for a part of the $5 million in funds that will be parceled out to approved air quality improvement programs in the Owens Valley and in Mono County as well.
The County had originally prioritized changing out older diesel engines in some of its truck fleet, which was at first estimated at costing about $108,000. But as Supervisor Larry Johnston detailed, even though the County is committed to changing out such engines by 2019-2020, the grant funding won’t cover the entire cost, and the County would be on the hook for the rest, perhaps as much as $100,000. A Plan B suggested by County Roads Director Jeff Walters is to replace two 1958 snow blowers, and 3 snowplows from the 1970s. That, he said, would be a better use of the grant funds and require less use of County’s general fund. The snow blowers are technically exempt in terms of pollution, but Walters said the Clean Air Program Board is keying on exactly these types of engines, which are constantly in use in this area. “Now that focus has changed, the thought is that the CAP Board will fund them 100%,” Walters opined.