CARB approves Community Emissions Reduction Program for South Los Angeles
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board approved the Community Emissions Reduction Program (CERP) for South Los Angeles, which will deliver significant reductions in smog-causing and harmful fine particle pollution in this community. This is the twelfth such program approved under AB 617 (C. Garcia, Stats. 2017, ch. 136). The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) who prepared the program used a new approach to developing the reduction measures alongside community organization co-leads in addition to a Community Steering Committee. This marks the twelfth program approved by the Board under AB 617.
The South Los Angeles community, which covers 63.5 square miles, has a long history of environmental challenges, including disproportionate exposure to poor air quality as a result of different industries such as auto body shops, metal processing facilities and gas and oil facilities operating in local neighborhoods. AB 617 requires community-driven action to identify, monitor and reduce air pollutants of specific concern to the local population.
“For the first time, local residents have the ability to get directly involved in cleaning the air that is the cause of illnesses and other health concerns”, said Chanell Fletcher, Deputy Executive Officer for Environmental Justice. “Working together, AQMD, the three co-lead community-based organizations Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles (PSR-LA), Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), and Watts Clean Air and Energy Committee (WCAEC) CARB, and the CSC developed a well-rounded plan using the tools provided by AB 617 that will help them tackle obstacles to achieve healthy and breathable, clean air in this overburdened disadvantaged community.”
As described in the final plan submitted by the air district to the Board for approval, the Community Steering Committee prioritized five emissions sources: mobile sources, auto body shops, general industrial facilities, metal processing facilities, and oil and gas industry operations. The CERP includes a comprehensive suite of actions to reduce emissions from these sources including regulatory development, incentives, and enhanced enforcement. For instance, South Coast AQMD will conduct idling inspection sweeps at locations of concern identified by the steering committee. It will also explore opportunities to make Rule 2305 Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) reports available to the public. Several actions to reduce emissions will be overseen by CARB to address mobile sources, metal processing facilities, and oil and gas sources such as conducting community workshops on the Criteria Pollutant and Toxics Emissions Reporting (CTR) process and sharing the data that has been collected from facilities in the community; and collaborating with South Coast AQMD to conduct inspections of all CSC-identified oil and gas facilities of concern.
All these actions are estimated to cut smog-causing pollution in half, and deliver a 71% reduction in harmful fine particle pollution (diesel PM) from 2019 baseline levels by 2031.
To ensure the implementation of the measure in the CERP are carried out to maximum effect, the Board directed air district staff, the community co-leads, the community steering committee, and CARB staff to continue to refine strategies, and ensure continued collaboration among other actions.
AB 617 Background
Since the implementation of AB 617, 17 community steering committees have been formed, 12 Community Emissions Reduction Programs have been approved by the Board, and many strategies have been developed to fight air pollution generated by agricultural activities, heavy duty trucks, railyards, and industry across California.
To address the requirements of AB 617, CARB created the Office of Community Air Protection (OCAP) to ensure the reduction of exposure and emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants in the most vulnerable areas of the state. OCAP community liaisons participate in the community steering committees, and provide guidance in the development of the community emissions reduction programs. OCAP and other CARB programs develop online tools to make data more accessible and useful in informing CERP decision-making.
Regional and Statewide Efforts
Generally, reduction strategies in community emissions reduction programs throughout the State target emissions for pollutants of concern and from sources of concern that are identified in collaboration with community residents. Successful implementation of the strategies requires strong partnership within the community steering committee and focused coordination between CARB, the local air district, and state and local land use and transportation agencies. CARB has identified emissions and exposure reduction approaches that all community emissions reduction programs should draw from to ensure a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of potential reductions strategies, including regulations, enforcement, incentives, and mitigation strategies.
CARB continues its statewide efforts to achieve emissions reductions in all communities disproportionately impacted by poor air quality.
These efforts include: