Environment

Cindy's work leading the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has made the region safer for everyone

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fire


Wildfires

In September 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved the creation of a County Wildland Fire Protection Plan, including intra-County mechanisms to support the Plan and collaboration between the Office of the Fire Marshal and Central Fire Protection District to obtain maximum State and County interagency mutual aid. This approach to prevent wildfires wherever possible and to determine the best organizational structure to respond to wildfires is important as wildfires become a persistent threat to the safety and air quality for all residents of the Bay Area and California.

 

drought


Drought 

The comprehensive Food, Restaurants, Agriculture, and Health Access Initiative introduced by Supervisor Chavez, seeks to address the combined threats of drought, wildfires, and other emergencies, as well as increasing food insecurity in the region, by integrating all government, community, agricultural, and grocery/restaurant resources into a single strategic plan from farm to compost. As droughts continue to threaten the bay area region, addressing the impacts on agriculture and food security will become even more important. 

 

Clean Air Filtration Program

Supervisor Chavez was instrumental in the expansion of the Clean Air Filtration Program to all Bay Area counties in 2021. This first of its kind program will help mitigate the potential health impacts of wildfires, especially for the Bay Area’s most vulnerable residents, by providing portable air filtration units to unhoused and low-income residents in impacted communities as well as to emergency and cooling centers Bay Area-wide.

Learn about the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's air filtration system giveaway!

 

Alum Rock business relief for construction impact

  • In November 2015, Supervisor Chavez led the effort for approval of the VTA Small Business Sustainability Program, which provided relief to the Alum Rock businesses impacted by the unexpected Bus Rapid Transit construction delays on Alum Rock Avenue. 
  • In addition to monetary relief, the program led to increased parking sites, the implementation of holiday lights along Alum Rock, a satellite VTA office to provide bilingual staff assistance for any construction questions or concerns, real time construction updates online, 24 hour street security detail, cleaning of the streets and graffiti, and repair of all street lights to provide a safer and more accessible environment for the community. 

 

Opposition of Oil Train Passing Through Santa Clara County

  • In August 2015, the Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the resolution co-authored by Supervisor Chavez and Supervisor Ken Yeager to oppose the Phillips 66 company rail spur extension and crude oil unloading facility project.
  • To date, this has helped prevent up to five trains per week, each carrying over 2 million gallons of heavy, high-sulfur crude oil, from passing through Santa Clara County on the Union Pacific Railroad rail line.            

 

Prioritize Alum Rock Trail, Lower Silver Creek Trail and Five Wounds Trail:

Supervisor Chavez led the effort to prioritize the completion of the Alum Rock Trail, Lower Silver Creek Trail and Five Wounds Trail with funds from Measure B. These trails are critical connection points for pedestrian and bicycle travel from VTA’s light rail and bus stops to residences within the Eastern portion of San Jose.

 

BAAQMD Reductions on particulate matter emissions at petroleum refineries

  • Supervisor Chavez led the Air District Board to pass groundbreaking restrictive measures that protect the communities surrounding these refineries.
  • The Air District calculated that for the million people most affected, exposure to particulate matter from the Chevron refinery in Richmond increases mortality by an average of up to 11.6 deaths per year and up to 6.3 deaths per year from the PBF Martinez refinery.

 

Preservation of the County’s Environmental Resources and Open Spaces in Coyote Valley

  • In December 2015, Supervisor Chavez brought forward a proposal for a Climate Change Overlay Zone and Moratorium on development in unincorporated Coyote Valley. On June 8, 2021, the Board directed the Administration to proceed with next steps on the Overlay Zone.
  • The proposal would limit development and introduce new voluntary financial incentives aimed at protecting the unique natural characteristics of Coyote Valley. They are intended to coincide with changes proposed by the City of San José to amend its own Zoning and General Plan designations in Coyote Valley.

 

Community Workforce Agreement

  • In 2016, Supervisor Chavez led the VTA board to approve a policy requiring projects over $2 million dollars to incorporate a hiring program that targets disadvantaged or underrepresented workers for training and hiring in the field of local construction.
  • This policy provides new opportunities for our: veterans, homeless, re-entry participants, and our foster and at-risk youth to close the equity gap in the Valley by creating pathways for the community to access careers in the construction industry.
  • It also promotes efficiency of construction operations; provides orderly and peaceful settlement of labor disputes and agreements, avoids work stoppages, strikes and lockouts; and promotes the public interest of timely completion of VTA projects.

 

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