Governor Brown Signs Groundbreaking Bill to Reduce Air Pollution
(BELL GARDENS) – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 617 by Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) to establish a groundbreaking program to measure and combat air pollution at the neighborhood level – in the communities most impacted.
"We passed these bills today for people like Maria who takes care of her five grandchildren in a one bedroom apartment in Bell Gardens but, is afraid to let the kids play outside in the poisoned air, and for Rocio who grows vegetables for her family in Commerce, but worries they could be toxic from the contaminated soil," said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. "This package, though historic, is only a strong down-payment. We have much work ahead of us to address regions, like mine, that have been treated like wastelands for generations. Justice is never swift. Environmental justice won’t be either. California is at the tipping point of greatness and I have no intention of letting my home go backwards again."
Assembly Bill 617 establishes a comprehensive, statewide program – the first of its kind – to address air pollution where it matters most: in neighborhoods with the dirtiest air. This new program helps dramatically improve air quality in local communities through neighborhood air monitoring and targeted action plans that require pollution reductions from mobile and stationary sources with strong enforcement and timetables. The legislation also mandates that large industrial facilities, including oil refineries, in California's most polluted communities upgrade their old, dirty equipment with cleaner, more modern technology by December 2023 at the latest. The legislation also increases the penalties against polluters that the Legislature has not been able to increase in more than 35 years.
The Governor signed the legislation today at the Neighborhood Youth Center in Bell Gardens.
The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.
Contact: Teala Schaff