The Environmental Health Program

community members hold signs protesting air pollution The Environmental Health Program's mission is to achieve environmental and climate justice, restore air quality, and improve environmental health in the Fresno area. We do this by informing and empowering diverse communities, facilitating collaboration, and advocating for effective and inclusive policies.

Our Beginning

Fresno Metro Ministry initiated its Environmental Health work on the issue of air pollution in 2002 as a partner in the Latino Environmental Health Project, which conducted platicas, or conversations, in over 25 communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Through that community-based research process Metro staff heard firsthand the experiences and perspectives of Latinos on issues such as air pollution, asthma, pesticides, and water quality. This formed the basis for Metro's advocacy and community work on air quality.

photo of clean air press conference

Some Successes

Since its beginning, Fresno Metro Ministry has established itself as one of the strongest community voices for clean, healthy air and is recognized throughout the state as a champion for San Joaquin Valley issues. Furthermore, Metro has a track record of success in connecting people with policy change by building coalitions, training individuals and groups, meeting with policymakers, garnering community support, and effecting change.

Metro was one of the founding members of the Central Valley Air Quality coalition which has grown exponentially through our collaborative efforts and now has over 190 individual members representing 85 organizations and 3 staff.

The success of Metro's advocacy work at the local San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in Sacramento is evident in the passage of major rules and policies that Metro has actively supported and have been adopted by the both policy-making bodies in the last few years. These include the passage of a $2 increase in the Valley's DMV fee for the Carl Moyer Fund (2004), the Indirect Source Review Rule (2005), the Dairy VOC Emissions Factor (2005), the SJVAPCD Environmental Justice Strategy (2007), CARB's Off Road Construction Equipment Rule (2007), and CARB's Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Rule (2009).

community members with fresno city councilperson henry t. perea Over the past 5 years, Fresno Metro Ministry has conducted over 100 presentations to engage communities in the "Air Pollution Solution." Hundreds of Fresno residents have joined Metro and the Central Valley Air Quality coalition on our five annual Clean Air Action Day trips to Sacramento to educate state policy makers about our air pollution crisis.

Fresno Metro Ministry also has a track record of working with low income residents and people of color to increase participation in decision-making that affects their lives. In the 1970s Metro trained volunteers to be change agents in interracial education and juvenile justice and began the Southeast Fresno Organizing Project. In the 1980s Metro led the creation of the City of Fresno Human Relations Commission and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Committee. In the 1990s Metro developed and implemented Cross-Cultural Clusters and founded the Local Health Care Coalition, a public interest consumer-oriented entity that worked for health care access and on public health issues. These groups have had a major impact on local and regional policies and have successfully advocated for additional resources of community concern.

For more information on the Environmental Health Program's work on air quality, click here.

action day group photo