The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the local air districts are continuing to move towards implementation of the Community Air Protection Program (CAPP). Industries, municipalities, and community members should pay attention to Assembly Bill (AB) 617 and CAPP developments to see if their communities are nominated and/or selected for the inaugural year.
In Response to the passing of AB 617, CARB established the CAPP, which focuses on reducing exposure in communities most impacted by air pollution. The five main elements of the program include:
The CAPP includes an accompanying law, AB 134, which designated $250 million for the Carl Moyer Program, which provides grant funding to replace or repower aging heavy-duty diesel engines.
South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), one of the primary air districts involved in AB617 and the CAPP, scheduled four community meetings in the spring on 2018 to inform and engage stakeholders and the public. SCAQMD provided an overview of AB 617 and accompanying law AB 134, plus held question and answer sessions to identify the communities’ primary concerns. Other air districts are holding similar meetings to identify their region’s lists of communities.
In order to be considered for inclusion into the CAPP, communities must self-nominate themselves by May 7th. Once all nominations are received, Air Districts will develop a draft Community Selection and Prioritization Report and accept comments and feedback from stakeholders and the public. By July, Air Districts must finalize the list of communities, and CARB will then develop a statewide strategy in October 2018.
Why This Matters:
Businesses of all types within selected communities may be affected by the implementation of the CAPP. Businesses may be required to install and operate ambient air monitors and/or retrofit emissions sources on an accelerated schedule. The exact implementation strategy of the CAPP is to be determined, but it may result in a heavy burden to industries within and surrounding selected communities.
There are a number of unresolved issues and questions surrounding AB 617 and the CAPP. The following items should be considered and addressed during the comment period for the Air District’s draft report on community selection:
Despite the uncertainty, CARB and the air districts are required to move forward. All potentially affected stakeholders should monitor AB 617 developments closely to see if they end up within or adjacent to a selected community. In addition, the state as a whole should watch the first year of the CAPP and provide feedback on how it can be improved.