The California Air Resources Board (CARB) broke ground on Oct. 27 on its new $419 million state-of-the-art research and testing facility at UC Riverside on Iowa Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. The groundbreaking was attended by an audience of hundreds, and featured guest speakers such as Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, Congressman Mark De Saulnier and Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, John Tavaglione. UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols also spoke at the event.
According to a UCR press release, the CARB made this decision after a vote to relocate its motor vehicle and engine emissions testing and research facility from El Monte to UC Riverside. UC Riverside won the bid over Cal Poly Pomona, which was determined to have the facility built on its campus as part of an effort to bring high technology as well as quality jobs to the region. Once built, the facility will bring more than 400 high-paying jobs to the area.
At the event, Wilcox stated, via UCR’s press release, that “These kinds of things don’t happen very often and you have to treasure them … We’re building the air quality research center for the world.” In this initiative, the facility also will have solar panels on the rooftop and over its parking lot, which will supply at least 3.5 megawatts of electricity. This will make it the nation’s largest net-zero energy structure, giving it Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum, the highest level of energy efficiency for building standards.
CARB is a state agency whose goal is “protecting the public from the harmful effects of air pollution and developing programs and actions to fight climate change,” according to their official website. The agency works with a diverse group of scientists, lawyers, engineers, economists and policymakers to set the state’s air quality standards in an effort to protect individuals at greater risk of struggling with cardiovascular health issues and attempting to solve the issue of air pollution in California.
CARB, Chancellor Wilcox and Mayor Bailey did not respond to repeated requests for comment.