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Employer-Based Trip Reduction Rule Adopted By California Air District

Air pollution rules recently passed in California seek to change the way workers get to their jobs. While solo commuters won't be forced out of their cars, businesses must choose from a selection of strategies aimed to do just that.
December 30, 2009, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Long known for being one of the most pioneering regulatory agencies in the country due to their federal mandate to reduce air pollution in the 8-county Central Valley, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District now is focused on reducing tailpipe emissions from commuters working at the area's largest businesses. Unfortunately, those commuting outside the region, be it to the Bay Area, South Coast, or Inland Empire, need not consider alternatives despite driving greater distances.

"The Valley Air Pollution Control District has long pushed voluntary measures. Now they've added teeth by forcing businesses to choose from a number of strategies aimed at changing the behavior of auto-addicted employees.

Employers could be fined... if they don't at least try, or if they fail to report their results to the district.

(Rule 9410) affects only businesses with 100 or more employees and is expected to cost each business $3,000 to $9,700 per year. Saved will be 400 tons per year of tailpipe emissions, the district says."

From Planetizen, Dec. 2005: "First 'Smog Fee' On New Development": "Convinced that sprawl begets smog, Central Valley air quality officials are expected today to become the first regulators in the nation to force builders to pay air pollution fees for new development."

From Valley Air Dist. Press Release, 10-08-09 (pdf) : "(Yesterday) the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Fresno affirmed a landmark 2008 decision by the Fresno County Superior Court which ruled in favor of the District in a challenge by developers to the District's Rule 9510. Also called Indirect Source Review, the rule was adopted in December 2005 and establishes development fees for air-pollution mitigation.

From Planetizen: Wood Burning Ban Saves Lives:
"Five years ago, the Central Valley became the first area of California to ban indoor wood burning when an 'alert' was called by the air district; other air districts followed in 2008. This study, released in Nov. shows that "no burn" days save lives."

Thanks to Laura Fultz Stout

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, December 20, 2009 in The Stockton Record
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