Over objections from some environmental groups, the South Coast Air Quality Management District board Friday approved a sweeping plan designed to serve as a blueprint for cleaning the Southland’s air.
Roughly three years in the making, the 2016 Air Quality Management Plan will be submitted to the California Air Resources Board for review and inclusion in the State Implementation Plan, which will ultimately be forwarded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
AQMD officials hailed the plan as taking sweeping steps toward reducing emissions from sources such as refineries, airports and landfills.
“This plan will protect public health by preventing an estimated 1,600 annual premature deaths from air pollution,” said Wayne Nastri, AQMD’s executive officer. “And unlike any previous clean-air plan, this one shows the full extent of the measures needed, and their cost, in order to achieve federal clean air standards.”
Some environmentalists and board members, however, were not satisfied with the plan. Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl wanted more stringent regulations to cut emissions from the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex. Environmental groups complained that too many components of the plan are voluntary instead of mandatory.
AQMD officials said the plan will require emission reductions from large polluters to achieve a 5 ton-per-day reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions no later than 2025, transitioning an emissions cap-and-trade program to traditional regulations and providing incentive funding to outfit heavy-duty vehicles with low-emission natural-gas engines.
The plan also calls for another 35 percent reduction in emissions from major sources, on top of a 45 percent mandate adopted by the board in late 2015, along with requirements for implementation of zero-emission technologies for diesel generators and residential and commercial appliances.
— City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: