Questions have been raised about the possibility of the California Air Resources Board constructing a new facility at Cal Poly Pomona. The following serves to provide answers to the questions we have received. Additional questions may be directed to the Vice President’s Office for Administrative Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the California Air Resources Board?
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is a state agency recognized around the world as the preeminent air quality and climate change agency. It was established in 1967 to deal with the serious air pollution problems facing California. Today it includes a team of 1,400 engineers, scientists, analysts, and technicians. ARB’s climate, motor vehicle and fuel quality standards are often adopted by the federal government and foreign countries. The ARB also collaborates with government representatives and non-governmental organizations worldwide to discuss the successes and implementation of California’s strategies.
Why is the ARB considering the construction of a new facility at Cal Poly Pomona?
The ARB is considering three sites for the construction of a new facility. Two of the sites are at the University of California, Riverside. The other site is here at Cal Poly Pomona. According to information on the ARB website, the existing ARB facilities no longer meet the agency’s programmatic requirements. A new facility is needed to increase ARB’s research and testing capacity.
As part of ARB’s evaluation process to identify a suitable location, the CSU was contacted. Cal Poly Pomona’s location in Southern California and its mission as a polytechnic university were seen to provide mutual benefits to the ARB and to Cal Poly Pomona. CSU recommended Cal Poly Pomona as the optimal location to meet ARB’s needs and the academic mission of the CSU. The ARB is continuing its evaluation of the identified possible sites. The ARB is committed to ensuring that the selected site location represents the most competitive and best option for California.
When is the ARB expected to make a decision regarding the location of the new facility and begin construction?
The ARB expects to choose a location for the 300,000 square foot facility in March 2016 and begin planning and design; break ground in 2018; and move in by 2020. In alignment with campus initiatives, the ARB will design the facility to integrate sustainability and energy efficiency goals into the research laboratory building design and operations. More information may be found on the ARB website.
What kind of facility is the ARB proposing?
The ARB is proposing to build a new motor vehicle emissions testing and research facility that will be state‑of‑the-art and a cornerstone of ARB’s motor vehicle emissions control program. The new 300,000 square foot facility will provide the technical foundation for California to continue to support clean vehicles, engines, and fuels, protect public health, and meet federal and state air quality standards and climate change requirements.
Will there be any costs to Cal Poly Pomona?
The project will be funded by the State of California, at no cost to Cal Poly Pomona. It is estimated that the State of California will make an investment of more than $360 million into this project.
If Cal Poly Pomona is selected as the preferred site, where would the proposed ARB facility be located?
Based on ARB’s selection criteria and the needs of Cal Poly Pomona, the site being considered is a 17-acre parcel on the Spadra land, which is 150 acres located approximately one mile from the core of campus.
Why was Spadra chosen over other possible sites at Cal Poly Pomona?
The Spadra parcel best meets ARB’s selection criteria. The site is accessible to major highways, reasonably close to commercial operations, and the topography of the land lends itself easily to construction. The location also fits the needs of Cal Poly Pomona. Located a little more than a mile from the campus core, ARB operations will not be disruptive to core campus functions.
The former site of the Lanterman Developmental Center, which the State of California transferred to the university last summer, was also considered. As part of the transfer agreement, the university was required to provide a site for the ARB on the campus. However, Lanterman does not align with ARB’s selection criteria.
Does the proposal to locate the ARB facility on Spadra have negative implications for the College of Agriculture?
If the ARB choses the Cal Poly Pomona site as the location for its new facility, the ARB facility will not impact the more than 500 acres of land currently used by the College of Agriculture located on the core campus and the additional 770 acres located less than 20 minutes away in Chino. Fifty-three acres located in Santa Paula will also remain available to the College of Agriculture.
Currently the College of Agriculture has access to the entire 150-acre Spadra land and will continue to have access for the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year. For the next five years, however, the college will be able to use 70 acres of Spadra. If the ARB decides not to locate its facility at Cal Poly Pomona, use of the remaining 80 acres will depend on the outcome of the university’s strategic planning process. If the ARB decides to locate on the 80-acre parcel and occupy 17 acres, the use of the remaining 63 acres will be determined during the strategic planning process.
Although a portion of Spadra parcel may be used by the ARB, the College of Agriculture and the campus as a whole are expected to benefit from the ARB facility if Cal Poly Pomona is the chosen site. The ARB will bring high-tech, world-class research, training and learning opportunities for the university in a variety of fields, including agriculture, engineering, science, math, computer science, business, economics and political science.
Is the proposed use of the 17-acre parcel on Spadra a sign of a diminished commitment to the College of Agriculture?
The university remains fully committed to the success of the College of Agriculture. A vital part of the strategic planning process will be devoted to charting a course for the future that will enhance the teaching and learning opportunities for the faculty and students in the College of Agriculture. The president recognizes and is planning to continue building the important legacy of the College of Agriculture and Cal Poly Pomona as a leading polytechnic university.
What are the benefits to our students and community if the ARB moves to our campus?
The ARB and the university anticipate exciting opportunities for research collaborations and internships/co-ops programs with the ARB. The ARB will relocate approximately 400 employees, giving an economic boost to our surrounding communities. Many of the ARB employees would be prime students for classes through the university’s College of the Extended University.
How would ARB’s operations be integrated into the campus?
ARB’s efforts to relocate its facilities on a college campus are based on its interest in furthering research into the science of air pollution. Cal Poly Pomona – with its strong emphasis upon agriculture, science, technology, engineering and math – is well suited for the agency.
Students and faculty in programs that have partnerships with the ARB will have the opportunity to participate in and observe how emissions testing is done, and would have access to internships at the ARB and mentoring with its industry professionals.