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|March 25, 2019|
Blueprint for cleaner air wins approval
RIVERSIDE – (INT) – The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Thursday to approve the 2016 Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP), a strategy to bring clean air to the region.
Some environmentalists applauded changes to the plan that would trigger rules on the polluting logistics industry if they fail to clean up on their own. Refineries also will now be required to install life-saving clean air safeguards.
“We’re pleased that air regulators decided to include language in the plan that will hold the polluting logistics industry accountable if they fail to clean up soon,” said Penny Newman, Executive Director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. “While we would have preferred that the industry be held accountable sooner, rather than asking working families to foot the bill, this is nevertheless a step in the right direction.”
The AQMP will govern air pollution emission reductions for the next 15 years. Progress toward clean air has stalled and the region still faces a steep uphill climb to meet safe air standards under the Clean Air Act, with which it has never been in full compliance.
The plan is designed to curb destructive super pollutants including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane.
Super pollutants have more potent heat-trapping effects but remain in the atmosphere for a shorter time than carbon dioxide. Reducing these pollutants can have a more immediate beneficial impact on climate change and reduces harmful toxins, such as cancer-causing particulates, in California communities.
Now that the plan has been approved by the state, it will be forwarded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its review. If approved by EPA, the plan becomes federally enforceable.
Story Date: March 27, 2017