Clean Air Advocates Demand a Stronger Smog Clean-up Plan
Current Proposal Fails Governor’s Promise to Slash Air Pollution
LOS ANGELES (June 22, 2007) – Community, health and environmental advocates from across the state will urge the state air board today to improve its current plan to reduce smog and particle pollution.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is scheduled to vote today on a draft plan that fails to adequately protect public health and will not meet federal air quality goals.
“If the current smog plan is approved, a child born today won’t be able to breathe clean air until he graduates from high school,” said Tim Carmichael, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air. “Air pollution costs the state $50 billion annually. This plan can, and must, be strengthened before it is approved.”
Federal law requires California to develop a state air plan that is a roadmap to achieve federal clean air standards. California has some of the worst air in the nation and Governor Schwarzenegger promised to cut air pollution in half by 2010. But the Governor will not achieve his goal unless CARB -- the agency in his administration that is responsible for cleaning up the air -- develops a stronger plan that immediately starts to clean the air.
“The current plan is anemic and will defer meeting clean air standards until 2023,” said Adrian Martinez, an attorney in the Southern California Air Project at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “It is unacceptable to make Californians wait years to breathe clean air.”
A diverse coalition of environmental, environmental justice, and public health groups urge CARB to add all available measures to its smog plan, including: more stringent reductions of diesel truck emissions, commitments to use cleaner ship fuels, reduction in pesticide use, and specific commitments to use cleaner agricultural equipment.
“Many measures to strengthen the plan are available today,” said Rey Leon, Senior Policy Analyst, Latino Issues Forum . “We just need the Board to incorporate them into the state plan today. There is no excuse to leave residents suffering any longer. In the San Joaquin Valley that will be up to 11 additional years.”
The coalition includes American Lung Association of California, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, Center on Race Poverty and the Environment, the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition Steering Committee, Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for Clean Ports, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, Concerned Residents of Lockwood Valley in the Los Padres Forest, Earth Day Los Angeles, Fresno Metro Ministry, Friends of the Earth, Kirsch Foundation, Latino Issues Forum, Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, Merced Stop WalMart Action Team, Moms Clean Air Network, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), People for Parks, Planning and Conservation League, Sierra Club of California, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.