The California Air Resources Board voted 8-3 to relocate its motor vehicle and engine emissions testing and research facility from El Monte to an 18-acre site at the University of California, Riverside, representing a $366-million investment. The board decided that the site would provide the best opportunity for growth in the coming decades and for collaboration with the world-class air quality research already underway at UC Riverside.
The ARB recommendation will now be considered by the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee. The agency hopes to break ground in 2017 and open in 2020.
The decision in Sacramento came after a months-long, joint effort by UCR, the city of Riverside, Riverside County, and the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce to demonstrate the advantages of locating the facility in Riverside.
More than a dozen proponents of the Riverside site spoke at a hearing last week in El Monte, emphasizing the synergy between the work of the Air Resources Board and research that has been done at UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) for decades.
The new facility will replace an existing one in El Monte that no longer is adequate for the agency. Agency staff had recommended a site in Pomona, in part because of its proximity to the existing site. But board members ultimately decided that Riverside best fit its long-term needs.