Mike Rogge

Power grab

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, April 15, 2016

On April 7th, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) gut-and-amended his SB 1387 that previously dealt with personal property, but now redefines how the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) operates. Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) signed on as co-authors.

As amended, the bill: 1) substantially and adversely modifies the use of market-based incentive programs, like RECLAIM*, and 2) doubles Sacramento-appointed positions to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board (SCAQMD) effectively shifting local control over critical regional air quality planning to state lawmakers in Sacramento.

Current law requires market-based incentive programs to achieve reductions equivalent to command and control programs with fewer resources “while maintaining or enhancing the state’s economy.” SB 1387 completely deletes economic protection and economic benefits and calls for reductions greater than can be achieved by command and control measures. Greater reductions could only be achieved through command and control measures, ignoring the limits, costs and timing of control technology. This bill ensures that compliance costs, delays and disputes will increase, thus delaying emission reductions and attainment of air quality standards in Southern California.

Presently, the SCAQMD Governing Board consists of 13 members with 10 representing cities and counties in the south coast region and three appointed by state officials (Governor, Senate Rules and Assembly Speaker). This bill allows the Legislature and Governor to stack the Board with three more appointees from environmental justice organizations, giving Sacramento control over more than a third of the seats on a regional board designed to make decisions for the greater Los Angeles area.

SB 1387 is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, April 20th before the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. If your company, association or organization agrees and would be willing to sign on to a coalition letter in opposition to SB 1387, please contact Mike Rogge at mrogge@cmta.net.

*RECLAIM is the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market adopted by the SCAQMD

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989