Terms Defined

Definitions are provided in the context of this program

Arranged Alphabetically

AB617: Assembly Bill 617 (Bill Text): This California state law focuses on reducing air pollution levels in disadvantaged neighborhoods through a community-focused approach to monitoring and reducing emissions. The My People, My Air program will help develop recommendations for where more air monitoring is needed in Ventura County. The Community Air Protection Program was established under AB617 and includes community air monitoring and emissions reduction programs. Under this, the Community Air Grants Program allocates funding to build capacity for nonprofit organizations, like CFROG, to partner with our local Air Pollution Control Districts to improve neighborhood air quality in disadvantaged and overly burdened communities. Refer to the bill text to read about other requirements under AB617.


California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): a state law requiring state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts when possible (Source).


Community Air Action Teams (CAATs): Groups of community members, as neighborhood scientists, who are trained by CFROG and project partners to use air monitoring equipment. Groups self-identify and select their own leaders. They create a plan and protocol with technical input from partners as needed. Join a CAAT!


Cumulative Impacts: the combination of factors contributing to a community's vulnerability. Factors used to measure cumulative impacts by CalEnviroScreen 3.0 include exposure to pollutants, sensitive receptors, and socioeconomic factors including average education level, poverty, language isolation, and underemployment.


Environmental Justice: the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies (EPA definition).

This stems from the current and historical patterns of low-income communities and communities of color being disproportionately affected by environmental hazards, including air pollution.


Environmental Justice Communities: communities impacted by issues related to environmental justice.


Groundtruthing: providing information based on direct observations and measurements. In the context of this program, groundtruthing means collecting air quality data in the project communities, by community members.


SB1000: Senate Bill 1000 (Bill Text): This California state law requires General Plans to include an environmental justice element and to identify disadvantaged or Environmental Justice communities. The Plans are also required to address the safety concerns associated with geologic hazards, flooding, wildland and urban fires, and climate adaptation and resilience strategies.


Sensitive Receptors: areas with populations that may be more sensitive to pollution because of factors such as age, physical or mental health status, proximity to polluting facilities, and other compounding factors. Areas include school zones, hospitals, elderly housing, day care centers, etc. (EPA definition).



Air Pollutants:

PM: Particulate Matter (PM) is a mixture of small particles in the air that cause adverse health affects when inhaled. Visible PMs include dust, dirt, but many smaller PMs cannot be seen with the naked eye (Source). PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 are measured with our AirBeam2 air monitors.

NOx: Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are greenhouse gases, meaning they contribute to a warming climate, and contribute to acid rain. NOx includes NO (nitric oxide) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and forms when nitrogen and oxygen are combined with heat. These compounds are formed from exhausts in vehicles, factories, and power plants. High levels of NOx can cause respiratory disease and damage vegetation, including crops. NOx combine with VOCs to create smog (Source).

VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are compounds that easily become gas and contain carbon and hydrogen. VOCs include methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and hundred of other compounds. These pollutants are released when burning fuels such as wood, gasoline, natural gas, and coal. They are also released from products such as paints, air refreshers, cigarettes, and pesticides. Exposure to VOCs can result in health issues ranging from nausea to cancer. VOCs combine with NOx to create smog (Source).

ROC/ROG: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) uses the terms Reactive Organic Compounds (ROC) or Reactive Organic Gases (ROG) for VOCs. The terms are interchangeable.