SAN DIEGO, Saturday, October 12, 2019 – Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 423, legislation that will reform the governing Board of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Introduced by Assemblymember Todd Gloria and sponsored by Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), AB 423 will restructure the APCD board to be more accountable, transparent, and reflect the diversity of San Diego County residents.
“San Diegans have waited too long for this reform and we are grateful to Assemblymember Gloria for championing clean air for everyone,” said EHC Executive Director, Diane Takvorian. “We thank Governor Newsom and the California Legislature for passing this landmark legislation that will make the San Diego APCD the first in the state to include an environmental justice representative.”
Air Pollution Control Boards are responsible for bringing their districts closer to meeting federal, state, and local standards for air quality. The current air district board represents over three million people in 18 cities within San Diego County yet is comprised only of the five members of the County Board of Supervisors. The structure is fundamentally undemocratic and does not reflect the diversity of the county’s residents.
AB 423 will increase the APCD Board membership to 11 individuals, including health professionals and subject matter experts, to represent all cities in San Diego County. Communities in National City, Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, and Sherman Heights who are most impacted by some of the worst air pollution in California, will now have a voice on the air district board through a new environmental justice representative.
“San Diego has the sixth worst air quality in the nation. We can and should be doing more to make sure every community breathes clean air,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “AB 423 is a concrete step in the right direction to bring more diverse and regional representation to the Air Pollution Control District Board and to ensure the public is aware of efforts being made to reduce air pollution in their community. I am proud that Governor Newsom recognizes our commitment to bring clean air to all San Diegans.”
In addition to creating equitable representation, AB 423 will increase transparency and accountability by requiring the Board to:
- Create a website separate from the County of San Diego’s;
- Post the Board’s agendas and minutes online;
- Post permit information and enforcement actions online;
- Publish an annual air quality report; and,
- Provide air-monitoring data online.
AB 423 will also require the San Diego APCD to assess and revise their public complaint process, develop a plan for a comprehensive air-monitoring program, and consider adoption of an indirect source rule from mobile sources.
Environmental Health Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with the SD APCD staff and future board members. We appreciate their diligent efforts to improve air quality in the most impacted communities. We extend our appreciation to everyone who supported the bill and those who helped to advance it including hundreds of community members; California Environmental Justice Alliance, Coalition for Clean Air, Climate Action Campaign, American Lung Association, San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Escondido Councilwoman Olga Diaz, San Diego LGBT Community Center, IBEW Local Union 569, San Diego 350, Circulate San Diego, 350 Bay Area Action, Sierra Club California and many more.
For more information, please contact Bari Samad at 619-343-6509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION
Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use and climate change. Visit online at http://www.environmentalhealth.org.