The City of Ojai, along with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD), will hold a ceremony celebrating certification as the first AGZA Green Zone City in Ventura County on Friday, April 12, 2019, at Libbey Park (210 S. Signal Street, Ojai, CA 93023). The event will be held at 11 am, and will include a demonstration of the City’s battery-powered equipment used to service all municipal park and landscape maintenance needs of the City. The City of Ojai joins the City of South Pasadena by becoming the second city-wide AGZA Green Zone in the United States.

According to Ojai Mayor Johnny Johnston: “We are thrilled to be formally certified as the first AGZA Green Zone City in Ventura County, and hope that our City serves as an example to other cities, in Ventura County and beyond.”

The City has worked closely with AGZA and VCAPCD for more than a year on the first municipal conversion to zero-emission landscape maintenance equipment in Ventura County. The City has realized several benefits from the conversion, including air quality benefits, and reduced noise from the equipment. AGZA has estimated that the project will prevent the creation of over 82 tons of air pollution each year.

With the recent launch of the Clean Power Alliance, the City of Ojai is now using 100% renewable energy. Coupled with the conversion of the City’s landscape maintenance equipment, the City strives to provide an example and demonstration for other communities showing the feasibility for improving local air quality along with the health and wellbeing of service personnel — all while doing something locally to combat climate change.

“The City of Ojai should be commended for this air quality and climate-friendly accomplishment; their successful conversion to zero-emission landscaping equipment will serve as an inspiration to other cities and entities such as school districts in the county,” said Mike Villegas, Air Pollution Control Officer for Ventura County.

The California Air Resources Board projects that by 2020 air pollution from gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment will exceed the combined emissions from all passenger vehicles. The path to cleaner air lies in a new generation of electric equipment including mowers, line trimmers, chain saws and blowers.

According to the California Air Resources Board’s Catherine Dunwoody: “The California Air Resources Board (CARB) commends the city of Ojai on the one-year anniversary of city groundskeepers using exclusively zero-emission lawn and garden equipment. Ojai serves as an example to all communities of the viability and the health and air-quality advantages of zero-emission equipment compared to using gasoline. There are nearly 17 million pieces of gasoline-powered small off-road equipment in California, and the statewide smog-forming pollution emissions from these will surpass emissions from passenger cars in just a few years. CARB is committed to measures that will slash harmful emissions from these small engines with the goal of reaching zero emissions from them statewide. The commendable early actions by Ojai and other forward-looking cities help demonstrate the feasibility of this goal and the related benefits of cleaner air and improved public health for all Californians.”

The City of Ojai is a small city in Ventura County set in a scenic valley. The City Council and commissions strive to maintain a high quality of life for all Ojai residents through exceptional community-based programs, support of the arts and cultural activities, and strong community involvement.

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District is the local government agency in Ventura County that protects public health and agriculture from the adverse effects of air pollution by identifying air pollution problems and developing a comprehensive program to achieve and maintain state and federal air quality standards.

The California Air Resources Board is the state agency responsible for promoting and protecting public health, welfare and ecological resources in California through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects of control programs on the economy of the state.

American Green Zone Alliance is a leader in zero-emission sustainable grounds maintenance strategies. Their mission is to transition the entire grounds maintenance industry from noisy, dirty fossil fuels to quieter zero-emission electric operations and sustainable practices.