State Assembly Passes Gloria Bill to Reform San Diego Air Pollution Control District Board

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Gloria’s Effort to Improve San Diego’s Air Quality, Ensure Clean Air for All San Diegans Successful in Assembly

SACRAMENTO, CA – The legislative effort by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) to bring cleaner air to the San Diego region received approval by the California State Assembly today. Assembly Bill 423, legislation that would reform the San Diego Air Pollution Control District Board, passed the Assembly by a vote of 41-11 and now advances to the State Senate.

San Diego has the sixth worst air quality in the nation. Much of this poor air quality impacts our lower income neighborhoods, yet their voice is not being represented by the current composition of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District Board. It’s time we change that,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “AB 423 ensures the Air Pollution Control District Board better represents the diversity of our region and the Board is more transparent with the public. Clean air is a human right. We can do more here at home to make sure all of us breathe clean air. That’s why AB 423 is necessary.” 

AB 423 would restructure the San Diego Air Pollution Control District Board to 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.

All communities deserve clean air but not all communities have it,” said Diane Takvorian, Executive Director for the Environmental Health Coalition. “AB 423 reforms the fundamentally undemocratic structure of the San Diego Air Pollution Control Board to reflect the diversity of San Diego County residents, especially low-income communities most impacted by some of the worst air pollution in California.”

Under AB 423, the Board would be expanded as follows:

City

Number of Representatives

Term

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

2

4 years

City of San Diego

3

4 years

City of Chula Vista or Oceanside

1

2 years, rotate terms

City of Escondido, Carlsbad, El Cajon, or Vista

1

2 years, rotate terms in the order listed

City of San Marcos, Encinitas, National City, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Coronado, Solana Beach, or Del Mar

1

2 years, rotate terms in the order listed

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 pending permit information and completed enforcement actions against polluters online; and,
  • Publish an annual air quality report.

Further, AB 423 will require 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.

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 regulations/goals and control emissions so that pollution sources are compliant with regulations and permitting.

AB 423 now head to the State Senate for consideration. It will be referred to the appropriate Senate policy committees in the coming weeks. If signed into law, the bill would go into effect January 1, 2020.