Building Industry May Sue Air District Over Aggressive New Pollution Fee Rule

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in December, 2005 approved the Indirect Source Rule, making it the first Air District in the US to regulate land uses, much to the ire of the building industry. Will they take the Air District to court?

"It's unclear what sort of legal argument the group, which includes a mix of developers, business groups, and some cities and elected officials, will make. A spokesman said a decision would be made within the next two months.

"Air-quality officials regulate stationary sources of pollution such as plants and factories but can't directly control tailpipe emissions, the largest source of dirty air. The new rule places fees on all projects that increase vehicular traffic, such as homes, shopping malls and schools."

"The fees will increase each year for three years, beginning in 2006. They will add $1,772 to the cost of a typical home by 2008 and between $872,000 and $1.3 million to the cost of a typical shopping mall.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District spent two years drafting the rule and is confident it will hold up in court, said Phillip Jay, an attorney for the district."

"Jay said he doubts the fees will hurt developers' profits at the rate housing prices are growing. The price of a new home in the Valley has increased 20 percent to 30 percent per year."

Thanks to Mary Michal Rawling

Full Story: Group may sue over air fee

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