Governor Signs Gloria Bill to Improve San Diego’s Air Quality, Ensure Clean Air for All San Diegans
Gloria Successfully Reforms San Diego Air Pollution Control District, Governor Signs Bill Bringing Changes Starting 2021
SACRAMENTO, CA – Sweeping changes are officially coming to San Diego’s Air Pollution Control District. Last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 423 (AB 423) – legislation authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) that will restructure the Board of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District in an effort to ensure cleaner air for the San Diego region.
“San Diego has the sixth worst air quality in the nation. We can and should be doing more to make sure every community breathes clean air,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “AB 423 is a concrete step in the right direction to bring more diverse and regional representation to the Air Pollution Control District Board and to ensure the public is aware of efforts being made to reduce air pollution in their community. I am proud that Governor Newsom recognizes our commitment to bring clean air to all San Diegans.”
Specifically, beginning March 1, 2021, the Board will include more representation from the individual cities in San Diego County as well as subject-matter experts and members of the public. Currently, the Board is solely comprised of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors – which is unlike any other air pollution control district that oversees a single county.
In addition to expanding the Board, AB 423 will increase the Board’s transparency by requiring the Air Pollution Control District to (among other things):
- Create a website separate from the County of San Diego’s;
- Post the Board’s agendas and minutes online;
- Post current and pending permit information and completed enforcement actions against polluters online; and,
- Publish an annual air quality report.
Further, AB 423 requires the Air Pollution Control District to evaluate their current public complaint process, develop a plan for a comprehensive air monitoring program, and consider adopting an indirect source rule.
“AB 423 will restructure the San Diego APCD to be transparent, diverse and be the first in the state to include an environmental justice representative,” said Diane Takvorian the Executive Director of Environmental Health Coalition, sponsor of AB 423. “San Diegans have waited too long for this reform and we are grateful to Assemblymember Gloria for championing clean air for everyone and thankful to Governor Newsom for signing this important piece of legislation.”
The San Diego Air Pollution Control District represents three million people across 18 cities. Within its jurisdiction, there are various sources of air pollution including 42 Cap and Trade greenhouse gas emission sources, local port activity, and highly industrialized areas including light and heavy duty facilities. It is the responsibility of air district boards to help jurisdictions meet federal, state, and local air quality regulation ns/goals and control emissions so that pollution sources are compliant with regulations and permitting.
AB 423 was supported by a diverse coalition of environmental justice organizations.