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In September 2018, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) established the Community Air Protection Program (Program) and approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint) to implement Assembly Bill (AB) 617. AB 617 requires community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants. After a nomination process, CARB selects communities each year to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring programs, or both. Program implementation is not just of interest to affected citizens and regulated sources in designated areas, however. It should also be monitored by those in other areas, as other areas may be nominated and accepted into the Program in the future, and current implementation of this young Program is establishing precedents for future implementation. The Program also serves as a justification for continued development of Indirect Source rules. Once implemented, Indirect Source rules will have major impacts on how goods are moved and business is done in California.

For all communities selected by CARB to develop a community emissions reduction program, the applicable air district must develop and adopt a community emissions reduction program within one year of selection. They must then submit the community emissions reduction program to CARB for consideration.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has developed a “Community Emissions Reduction Plan” (Plan) for each of its communities targeted for emission reductions, including Wilmington, Carson, West Long Beach, East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, West Commerce, San Bernardino, and Muscoy. CARB staff have reviewed each community's Plan. All three Plans seek to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen and diesel particulate matter from mobile and stationary sources; the Wilmington/Carson/Long Beach Plan also aims to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and sulfur oxides from its refineries and ports.

On September 10, 2020, CARB will be conducting a remote public meeting to consider the Plans and CARB staff's recommendations for Board Action for the following communities in SCAQMD jurisdiction:

  1. Wilmington, Carson, West Long Beach (12:00 PM)
  2. East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, West Commerce (no earlier than 4:00 PM)
  3. San Bernardino, Muscoy (directly following East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and West Commerce communities)

Comments may be submitted in writing by September 4 or presented orally during the meetings. More information is available regarding the meetings and draft Plans.

Indirect Source rules are under development in a number of California air districts, and will regulate mobile source emissions (e.g. truck, ship, locomotive) by applying restrictions to the stationary sources at which they do business (e.g. warehouses, railyards, ports). These regulations may ban older, dirtier mobile sources from entering such facilities, even if the mobile sources are registered outside of California. By removing the business purpose (transporting goods and services) for them to come to the area, they should effectively be removed from these areas, and the sources will either do less business or convey the same goods and services using cleaner vehicles to reduce the disproportionate emissions impact on transportation-heavy neighborhoods.

For any questions regarding the Community Emissions Reduction Programs or Indirect Source rules, please contact Wes Younger, Trinity Consultants, at 949.567.9880 x106.