C-VAG, Local Assemblymen Unhappy With Air Quality In The Desert; Calling On Regional Regulators To Increase Air Monitoring And Warn The Public About Exposure To Bad Air

Letter from C-VAG Executive Director Tom Kirk, and California Assemblymen Greg Wallis and Eduardo Garcia regarding poor air quality in the Coachella Valley Letter from the Office of Assemblyman Greg Wallis July 1st 2024


June 27, 2024

Mr. Wayne Nastri
Executive Director
South Coast Air Quality Management District
21865 Copley Drive
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Dear Mr. Nastri:

As the Assemblymembers who represent the Coachella Valley, we are writing to you regarding growing concerns over air quality in our communities.

We  are hearing from our constituents who have expressed dissatisfaction with  claims made by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) that air quality in the region is improving and returning to normal levels.

Unfortunately, the reality on the ground is quite different. Despite assertions to the contrary, air quality has not shown significant improvement.

The spring season, characterized by windy conditions, has exacerbated the issue by stirring up dust and clay deposits left behind in the wake of Tropical Storm Hillary.

These unique environmental factors have  resulted in elevated levels of PM10 in the air, posing serious health risks to the community.

Residents, business owners, and healthcare professionals are particularly  concerned about the adverse effects of these conditions on public health.

Increased levels of PM10 can lead to respiratory issues, exacerbate chronic conditions, and contribute to overall poor health outcomes.

It is imperative that more substantial actions be taken to mitigate this problem and protect the well-being of our community.


We urge the AQMD to make this issue a priority and implement more effective measures to address the air quality concerns in the Coachella Valley.

This may include increased monitoring, stricter enforcement of air quality regulations, and more robust public awareness campaigns to inform residents about ways to reduce exposure to harmful pollutants.

Our offices are ready and willing to collaborate with the AQMD to determine the best path forward in addressing this urgent threat to our community’s health and wellness.

We urge you to review the May 31, 2024 letter sent to  you by the Coachella Valley Association of Government (see attached). We support the steps CVAG proposed in its letter.

We believe that through cooperative efforts, we can develop and implement strategies that will lead to meaningful improvements in air quality and a healthier environment for all residents of the Coachella Valley.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter. We look forward to your prompt response and to working together for the betterment of our community.


Greg Wallis  Assemblymember 47th District & Eduardo Garcia Assemblymember, 36th District

cc. Tom Kirk, Coachella Valley Association of Governments



Sand being blown across a desert road

Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR