California has 35 local Air Districts regulated by the California Air Resources Board which are responsible for regional air quality planning, monitoring, and facility permitting. The districts issue legislation and administer air quality improvement programs. These Air Quality Management Districts, or AQMD's, are the California Air Resources Board's primary partners in ensuring clean air across the state of California.
Proposition 1B, also known as the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program, was approved in 2006 and has provided funding for projects that aim to reduce emissions. Prop 1B intends to reduce diesel air pollution from goods movement operations, which is broken down into two categories: heavy-duty trucks and transportation refrigeration units (TRU).
As California utilities halted service to more than 2 million people last year, lines formed at hardware stores selling portable generators and many hospitals and businesses fired up their own. The prospect of the increased emissions from untold numbers of the machines, was troubling in a state already burdened with some of the nation’s worst air quality.
According to a recent Boston Globe article, when Massachusetts released a survey of town-by-town coronavirus infection rates earlier this month, communities that topped the list made alarming sense to public health experts and environmental activists. The communities that have been hardest hit by the virus; Chelsea, Brockton, Everett, Lynn, Randolph, and Lawrence all have a high percentage of low-income residents, with high rates of asthma and other environmentally-related respiratory diseases, in part because of pollution.
Fine Particulate MatterWrapping up an investigation begun four years ago, the California Air Resources Board announced July 1 it fined brewing company Anheuser-Busch $500,000 for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that violated the state’s air pollution laws.
CARB launched its investigation in March 2015 and discovered that the St. Louis-based brewing company had failed to properly self-inspect 19 diesel trucks, as required by the state’s Periodic Smoke Inspection Program, to ensure they met state smoke emission standards.
In addition, CARB staff discovered that Anheuser-Busch was not in compliance with the state’s Truck and Bus Regulation because they failed to meet required compliance deadlines. A total of 86 trucks were noncompliant with the applicable in-use performance standards, according to the Sacramento, Calif.-based agency.
A CARB spokeswoman told Transport Topics the investigation of the Class 6 through 8 trucks was begun following an anonymous tip. The company’s fleet headquarters is in San Diego.
Anheuser-Busch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“California has some of the country’s poorest air quality and because of this, our laws are tough to protect public health. All businesses must do their part to ensure their fleets are fully compliant with California’s anti-pollution regulations that are designed to clean our air and protect our children,” CARB Enforcement Division Chief Todd Sax said in a release.
When it comes to air quality, Long Beach and Los Angeles County rank among the most polluted areas in the nation. According to the 2019 “State of the Air” report released by the American Lung Association (ALA) last month, Southern California residents “face the most challenging air pollution levels in the United States.”