The California Air Resources Board approved what it says are “two critical efforts” to provide cleaner air for all Californians. CARB approved the State Strategy for the State Implementation Plan (State SIP Strategy), which describes CARB’s commitment for further reducing vehicle emissions needed to meet federal air quality standards over the next 15 years. The Board also approved the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s comprehensive air quality plan.
It was a double-barrel shotgun blast aimed accurately at the beleaguered Nit Twit Trump Administration. Twelve other states have adopted California emission standards on for vehicles. The courts have consistently held – for decades – that California has the right to do so. (Memo: Trump can’t fire Federal or Supreme Court justices. Reload.)
CARB also directed staff to report annually on progress on implementation of the SIP Strategy including recommendations on additional funding as well as direction to expedite implementation where possible.
“Today’s action builds upon California’s efforts over the last 50 years and sets the stage for a range of actions into the next decade,” said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols. “We look forward to continuing California’s air quality leadership, working with our federal and local partners to provide the pathway to cleaner air, along with a vibrant economy.”
The State SIP Strategy is a series of actions to deploy the next generation of clean vehicles, equipment and fuels. These include new engine standards for cars and trucks, and the durability and inspection requirements to ensure these vehicles remain clean over their lifetime. The strategy also includes enhanced deployment of zero emission technologies, cleaner burning fuels, and pilot and incentive programs to accelerate the deployment of this cleaner technology.
In parallel to actions at the state level, CARB will continue to call for strong federal action to develop more stringent engine standards for cars, trucks, ships, aircraft and locomotives.
These advanced technologies can transform and clean up California’s transportation system, providing public health benefits, especially in the South Coast and the San Joaquin Valley, the two regions of the state with the greatest air quality issues. The cleaner technologies will also deliver “significant reductions” in greenhouse gas and toxic diesel particulate matter emissions that are essential to meeting California’s climate, air quality and risk reduction goals.
The South Coast’s Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) is a way for meeting ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standards in both the South Coast region and the Coachella Valley. In conjunction with state actions to reduce mobile source emissions, the South Coast AQMP includes a broad spectrum of measures to transition residential and commercial homes and buildings to cleaner energy sources, from electrification and fuel cells to solar power.
The District’s plan also contains actions to achieve further reductions of pollutants from large industrial facilities such as refineries and power plants. Attaining federal air quality standards will provide significant public health protection for the 17 million residents who live in the region, estimated by the District to total $173 billion in cumulative health benefits between today and 2031.
The California Air Resources Board also adopted a new plan to curb destructive super pollutants including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane. The plan, California’s Short-lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy, maps out the route to more rapid greenhouse gas reductions by clamping down on these super pollutants. 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.
Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) make up about 12% of GHG emissions, but strong actions to reduce them could help reduce global warming by as much as 40%, it’s claimed.
“This plan to curb super pollutants will accelerate reaching our 2030 goal of a 40% reduction in GHG emissions below 1990 levels,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This plan will also help reduce nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and fine particle pollution.”