Motorists To Pay Ozone 'Penalty' in Central Valley

In a unanimous vote on Oct. 21, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District approved another 'first' air quality measure not done elsewhere: They supported charging Valley motorists for paying the $29 million ozone penalty set by the E.P.A.
October 24, 2010, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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But the controversy is not settled with the measure's passage as environmental justice advocates appear ready to take the decision to court.

"The decision, first of its kind in the nation, would add $12 to vehicle registration fees in the Valley beginning next year -- if air-quality activists don't successfully challenge it in court. The penalty was triggered when the region missed an ozone cleanup deadline this year."

The region's chronic bad air has caused the air district to often be the first to approve controversial clean-air measures in California and the nation, including wood-burning bans when necessary, and an Indirect Source Regulation that charges developers for the vehicle trips from new developments.

"Environmental activists already have challenged that EPA advice in federal court. They say the federal Clean Air Act clearly intended the penalty for businesses, calling it an incentive for them to reduce pollution."

Thanks to Tom Frantz

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, October 21, 2010 in The Fresno Bee
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