The implementation of California’s ambitious Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617) is well under way, but it is still very uncertain whether it can or will achieve its intended outcome. Despite the long process to select the initial list of communities to be included in the in the first year of CARB’s Community Air Protection Program (CAPP) (CARB’s AB 617 implementation program), the hard work to ensure AB 617 is a success remains—namely the development and implementation of the emissions monitoring/reduction plans in the selected disadvantaged communities. In the end, the biggest impediment to AB 617’s successful implementation might be the law’s own requirements, specifically its accelerated implementation schedule, which may not provide California’s air quality management districts (air districts) with enough time to achieve the law’s goals. Continue Reading California’s AB 617: Inadequate Time?
When California Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617) was signed into law, California ambitiously announced a new “community focused” strategy to improve air quality in California. AB 617’s stated goal is to improve air quality in environmental justice communities through local, community-specific strategies focused on the individual needs and issues particular to each community. The development and implementation of this “community focused” strategy is largely the responsibility of California’s local air quality management districts (AQMDs) because AB 617 places new, explicit responsibilities on AQMDs so that they take the lead in improving the air quality in their environmental justice communities. Continue Reading California’s AB 617 — “Community Focused”
As noted in previous blog posts, Assembly Bill 617’s (AB 617) Community Air Protection Program (CAPP) is limited in effect to specific, named communities included in it. Thus, stationary sources not located in a CAPP included community are not regulated by CAPP. However, AB 617’s new requirements are not limited to CAPP. AB 617 also requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop new regulations for criteria pollutant and toxics emissions reporting. The new regulation, titled “Regulation for the Reporting of Criteria Air Pollutants and Toxic Air Contaminants” (CTR Regulation) is not yet finalized, but the current draft will apply to stationary sources throughout California, regardless of whether they are located in a CAPP community. Continue Reading California’s New Criteria Pollutant and Toxics Emissions Reporting Regulation
In recent years there has been an explosion in the availability of small, low cost, hand held (or drone mounted) air quality monitoring devices or air sensors. Although the most likely near term applications may be community groups seeking information on potential industrial impacts, even individual consumers may have use for such devices to monitor the quality of indoor air. The biggest hurdle to the effectiveness, and eventual integration into the realm of regulatory compliance, of these devices is the lack accepted standards for evaluating the quality of the data they produce. What role will EPA play in that?