13 Feb CCEEB Partners with Air Board in Developing AB 617 Community Air Protection Program
San Francisco, CA., February 13, 2018 – Following the historic passage of Assembly Bill 617 (C. Garcia, Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017), the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) has joined the state air board’s Consultation Group to help guide development of its landmark Community Air Protection Program.
AB 617 requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish statewide guidance for community air monitoring and emission reduction plans, and to oversee design and implementation of those plans by regional air districts, working in partnership with local communities that have been identified and prioritized by the CARB as having “high cumulative exposure burdens” for criteria and toxic air pollutants. The bill also requires CARB and the air districts to adopt targeted measures to reduce local community exposures.
As one of many actions to engage community and industry stakeholders, CARB has convened an AB 617 Consultation Group, which brings together over 20 of California’s leading voices representing community-based organizations, environmental justice, public health groups, air districts, academia, and industry. CARB Board Member John Balmes, chair of the Consultation Group, opened its first meeting on January 30, by emphasizing the groundbreaking nature of AB 617, calling for members to work together on successful implementation of the bill.
Janet Whittick, CCEEB director of policy, welcomed the invitation to participate and expressed appreciation for the inclusiveness of the group, expressing her hope that it would serve as a model for community-level collaboration. “It’s valuable to share perspectives, even when we can’t reach perfect consensus. CCEEB supported AB 617 and I’ve worked with many of the people here. I feel positive we can help ARB and the districts make the program a success.”
One of the key interests of CCEEB, echoed by many in the group, is to ensure that CARB and the districts base AB 617 programs on sound science and data vetted through transparent public processes. CCEEB is also interested in the advancement of new monitoring and sensor technologies that can help assess air quality impacts in California’s communities.
While CCEEB’s Air Project is working closely with CARB on the state plans and strategy, the Council also participates in local air district planning efforts through its Bay Area Project and South Coast Air Project. Through its work with CARB and local air districts, CCEEB is one of the leading industry groups working in support AB 617 goals and objectives.
Founded in 1973 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) is a leader in advancing policies that improve the environment and protect public health, while maintaining a strong and competitive economy. CCEEB brings together the perspectives of business, labor, and public leaders in pursuit of balanced and effective policy solutions.