Air Quality General

Poiriez Carries on MDAQMD’s Business-Responsive Legacy

Brad Poiriez

By Violette Roberts, Community Relations & Education Manager

Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

Brad Poiriez was appointed Execu­tive Director of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Manage­ment District by the Victorville-based agency’s Govern­ing Board on July 25, 2016. Poiriez is responsible for enforcing the MDAQMD’s rules and regulations, enforcing health and safety provisions and state programs, running the district’s day-to-day operations and supervising the MDAQMD’s 39 em­ployees.

While Poiriez may be new to the MDAQMD, he is no stranger to air qual­ity management, having served as Air Pollution Control Officer for the Imperi­al County Air Pollution Control District since 2008 and as an employee of the El Centro-based air district for over 22 years. Poiriez received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Studies from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 and has worked in the environmental field for over 23 years. Prior to joining the ICAPCD, Poiriez was employed by the Peoria County Environmental Health Department in Peoria, Illinois.

Poiriez is the past U.S. co-chair of the Imperial Valley/Mexicali Region Air Quality Task Force for “Border 2012” and has worked extensively on the new­ly proposed “Border 2020” program. He was instrumental in getting indus­try representatives and the community involved and participating in develop­ing methods to improve air quality in Imperial County. “Brad’s extensive knowledge of regional air quality is­sues, combined with his years of experi­ence brokering common-sense, clean air solutions at the local and international level, make him an exceptional choice to lead the MDAQMD,” commented MDAQMD Governing Board Member/San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood.

As the local air pollution control agen­cy for San Bernardino County’s High Desert region and the Palo Verde Val­ley portion of Riverside County, the MDAQMD has primary responsibility for controlling emissions from station­ary sources of air pollution within its 20,000-plus-square-mile jurisdiction, which is home to over 550,000 resi­dents. Throughout its 24 year history, the MDAQMD has earned a reputation as one of the most business friendly air districts in California, whose coopera­tive working relationship with regulated industry has become a model for air dis­tricts across the state. Thus, it’s no co­incidence that between 2010 and 2016, the number of permitted facilities locat­ed within the MDAQMD’s jurisdiction increased by 16%, from 966 to 1,122,

While new leadership often brings with it growth and change, Poiriez states that the district’s mission statement–“To attain and maintain a healthful envi­ronment while supporting strong and sustainable economic growth–will re­main intact, and keeping the lines of communication open with constituents will continue to be a priority. “When businesses understand what is expected of them and we provide them with the tools to help them comply–whether these tools are in the form of compli­ance assistance, grants or just a friendly ear–we all benefit through increased business retention, enhanced economic development and improved air quality,” said Poiriez.

While the MDAQMD cannot directly create jobs because the severity of the air quality problem in the High Desert is much less than that in the greater Los Angeles area, the MDAQMD’s regulatory structure is less restrictive. This tends to encour­age job relocation from more severely regulated areas (Los Angeles) to less se­verely regulated ar­eas (such as the High Desert). Hence, regulatory flexibility is key to economic and environmental sustainability in the High Desert and is the foundation of the MDAQMD’s ef­forts.

Although it’s impossible to predict the ultimate trickle down effects of Wash­ington’s new administration on local air districts, the MDAQMD plans to con­tinue offering regulated business some of the lowest permitting and applica­tion fees found anywhere in California, as well as providing some of the most expedient permit-processing times. The MDAQMD will also continue to proac­tively promote the creation and recog­nition of emission reductions credits, which allows new sources to site in the High Desert. Generous grants will continue to be offered for local projects which reduce mobile source and diesel emissions thorough the MDAQMD’s AB 2766 and Moyer Grant programs. Regulated businesses which exceed reg­ulatory requirements and reduce emis­sions for the benefit of local air quality will continue to be recognized through the District’s Mojave Green Gas Sta­tion Program and its annual Exemplar Awards. The MDAQMD will also con­tinue to works closely with each appli­cant to cut through the red tape instead of creating an additional layer.

The MDAQMD is proud to exemplify California’s “final frontier” for busi­nesses seeking to locate or remain in the Golden State. For more informa­tion, visit www.mdaqmd.ca.gov or call (760)245-1661 today.

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