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Legislative Update

Clean Air for the New Year Image

This last year has been a milestone for action on clean air and climate change. At the end of last year, the California Air Resources Board conducted the first auction as part of the cap-and-trade program, which will limit greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Board is also moving forward with companion regulations for industrial energy efficiency that will ensure that emission reductions happen in our local communities, and reduce toxic pollution as well as greenhouse gases.

Climate change is a serious health threat that will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heat waves, storms, and droughts. For lung health, this means more days where people with asthma are at risk, and that the same strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions also reduce cancer-causing toxic emissions. The lackluster action at the end of last year at the UN climate negotiations in Doha demonstrates the importance of California leading the way toward increased ambition for United States climate protection.

At the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, our work continues toward implementing the Clean Air Plan. Breathe California testified to support the adoption of a cement kiln rule, and is working with the District on regulations to reduce pollution at metal melting facilities and from refinery boilers. Breathe California will continue to monitor both the investigation into the Chevron Refinery explosion and the steps taken to ensure community health and safety. Breathe California was a leader in promoting more ambitious targets for the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. This year the Metropolitan Transportation Commission moved forward a new draft plan to accomplish this work with improved transit and land use. Finally, strong statewide rules to protect communities from toxic diesel pollution from trucks start to phase in this year. We need your help to keep up the momentum for clean air – e-mail us at to get involved.

Don't forget that wood burning is restricted when air quality is unhealthy, so check before you burn at 1-800-4NO-BURN, or at www.sparetheair.org.

Read previous Legislative Updates from the past calendar year

Page last modified on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 08:17:56pm UTC