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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: John Casey (916) 319-2408
September 12, 2015
SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins to ensure diversity on the state Air Resources Board (ARB) passed the Legislature and is pending the Governor’s approval.
“Nearly half of all Californians live within six miles of a facility that emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “These communities have some of the highest rates of exposure to air pollution and other environmental hazards. By requiring two new members who represent such communities, AB 1288 will ensure that the Air Resources Board will consider the environmental needs of California’s diverse population.”
AB 1288 would require the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules to each appoint one member who works with environmental justice communities to the ARB, expanding the Board to 14 members.
According to the ARB, air-pollution exposure accounts for 19,000 premature deaths, 280,000 cases of asthma and nearly 2 million lost work days each year. In California, people of color face a 50% higher chance of cancer due to air pollutants. The ARB’s actions have a significant impact for low-income areas and this bill seeks to integrate the views of those who are burdened by and vulnerable to high levels of pollution.
AB 1288 is supported by the American Lung Association of California, California Environmental Justice Alliance, California League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resource Defense Council and the Sierra Club, California.
Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins: www.asmdc.org/speaker