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newsrel -- Schwarzenegger signs SB 719

Posted: 15 Oct 2007 10:06:32
Please consider the following press release celebrating the
signing of SB 719.  You can review the release online at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr101507b.htm .
Thank You
Dimitri Stanich


Release 07-45
October 15, 2007
Patricia Rey
(916) 322-2990 

Governor Schwarzenegger signs legislation to add urban, rural
perspective to San Joaquin Valley Air Board

SB 719 (Machado) increases the size of the San Joaquin Valley
Air Board to 15 members

SACRAMENTO - During a ceremony in Fresno today, ARB Chairman
Mary Nichols announced that Governor Schwarzenegger signed
legislation over the weekend that will add public health and
science expertise to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution
Control District.

SB 719, authored by Senator Mike Machado (D-Linden), calls for
the governing board to increase its membership from 11 to 15 by
adding two public members appointed by the Governor and two city

"With the Governor's signature, the people of the San Joaquin
Valley can breathe a little easier knowing that their health and
the pace of cleanup will be the sole focus of four new expert
board members," said Mary Nichols, ARB Chairman. "Added to the
hardworking board of locally elected officials that is already
at work, the new board members will help to meet the Governor's
goal of bringing clean air to the Valley as soon as possible."

"I want to thank the governor for signing SB 719 and for his
commitment to cleaner air for the central valley. Cleaning the
valley air is everyone's responsibility," said Senator Machado.
"These additions to the San Joaquin Valley Air Board broaden its
representation to include those that suffer most from bad air.
Working together we can make the valley a healthier place. This
would not of been possible without the persistence of all of the
stakeholders. They are the ones who deserve the credit for this
bill. I thank them for their hard work."

The new legislation guarantees that both urban and rural
perspectives have a voice in the Valley's policy decisions. SB
719 adds a total of four new members to the local air district
governing board: two medical experts appointed by the governor
and two representatives of large valley cities with more than
100,000 residents (Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, Visalia and
Bakersfield). The greater impact comes from the added medical
angle, specifically, one member will have to be a physician with
expertise in the health impacts of air pollution; and the other
will be required to have medical or scientific expertise in air

Along with SB 719, the Governor signed a second legislation that
will directly affect the San Joaquin Valley. SB 23 (Cogdill)
provides an opportunity for the local air district to remove
old, high-emitting cars from the road and offer an alternative
to consumers who cannot afford to purchase a newer vehicle. The
program will be an incentive-based pilot effort, where local
residents can donate a low-emission vehicle to the air district
and in turn, claim the fair market value of the vehicle donated
as an incentive to choose this program instead of another
donation venue where only a portion of the vehicle value would
be recovered.

Two more pieces of legislation affecting statewide air quality
victoriously made it through the Governor's desk. AB 233 (Jones)
will help reduce diesel particulate exposure by increasing fines
and preventing registration of trucks with outstanding citations
for pollution violations. Diesel particulate matter is
responsible for 70 percent of the cancer risk associated with
breathing toxic air pollutants in California. This bill also
directs the ARB to develop a comprehensive plan for enforcing
its diesel regulations for all vehicles and engines.

The Smog Check Program will be augmented by the addition of all
1998 and newer vehicles weighing less than 8,500 pounds
beginning January 1, 2010. AB 1488 (Mendoza) will reduce 0.7
tons per day of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions in 2014 by
authorizing light and medium duty diesel vehicles to be tested
with on-board diagnostics. Emission reductions from
diesel-powered vehicles are necessary to protect the health of
Californians and to further the state's progress towards meeting
air quality goals.

The ARB is also in the process of allocating the first $250
million out of the $1 billion from Proposition 1B bond funding
for projects intended to improve air quality related to the
movement of goods along four major transportation corridors:
from the Los Angeles ports to the Inland Empire, State Route 99
in the Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San
Diego border region. The program is likely capable of reducing
combined emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and diesel
particulate matter by over 250,000 tons during the life of the
bond-funded equipment.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.


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