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SR-27 (2017-2018)

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Enrolled  April 04, 2017
Passed  IN  Senate  April 03, 2017


Senate Resolution No. 27

Introduced by Senator Wieckowski

March 09, 2017

Relative to vehicular air pollution


SR 27, Wieckowski.

WHEREAS, Since the 1960s, California has made great strides in protecting the public by cleaning up the state’s air and reducing air pollution while the economy of the state has grown and thrived; and
WHEREAS, Even before the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) was enacted in the 1970s, California had already begun its pioneering efforts to reduce smog and air pollution from the transportation sector; and
WHEREAS, The Congress and President of the United States acknowledged and supported California’s transportation clean air efforts by enacting Section 209 of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.), which grants California unique authority to set its own vehicular pollution control standards if granted a waiver by the United States Environmental Protection Agency; and
WHEREAS, Over the past 50 years, over 145 waivers have been granted to California to clean up its air by both Republican and Democratic administrations in recognition of the fact that our state continues to have regions suffering from the worst pollution in the country; and
WHEREAS, The granting of waivers under Section 209 of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) has saved California residents and businesses billions of dollars in fuel costs through more efficient and less gas guzzling cars and trucks; and
WHEREAS, The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that achieving the new ozone standard of 70 parts per billion would save the state’s residents an estimated $400 million to $1.4 billion per year when accounting for both the costs of reducing emissions and the avoided costs of health care, lost work days, low productivity, and other impacts of pollution; and
WHEREAS, Two studies sponsored by the State Air Resources Board show that clean air standards generated 5,600 jobs in 1980 and 32,000 jobs in 2001. State Air Resources Board staff estimate that the number of air pollution control industry jobs has now grown to 42,000 in 2015, account for 3.2 percent of total manufacturing jobs in California, and have generated $8 billion in revenue; and
WHEREAS, In 2015 the American Lung Association in California estimated that the state’s residents are hit with $15 billion per year in costs due to asthma attacks, lost work days, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, premature deaths, and other climate damage, such as agricultural productivity, property damage, human health, and ecosystem resources; and
WHEREAS, Pollution from the transportation sector creates smog and air pollution that chokes the lungs of our children, causes the elderly to visit emergency rooms with cardiopulmonary disease, and causes thousands of deaths per year; and
WHEREAS, According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13.1 percent of adults and 12.5 percent of children have been diagnosed with asthma, and lower-income and minority groups are disproportionately affected by asthma due to their increased exposure to air pollution; and
WHEREAS, Under Section 209 of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.), the United States Environmental Protection Agency is required by law to grant the waiver unless (1) the proposed standards are not more protective of public health and welfare than the federal standards, (2) the state does not need stricter standards given a set of compelling and extraordinary circumstances, and (3) the proposed standards are inconsistent with other provisions of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.); and
WHEREAS, The process of California being granted a waiver is ministerial and nondiscretionary on the part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency; and
WHEREAS, Today, cars in California are 99 percent cleaner than they were in the 1960s due to actions California has taken pursuant to Section 209 waivers and other actions, resulting in thousands of avoided premature deaths and even more avoided illness; and
WHEREAS, California’s air quality has improved, but the cities and regions in the United States with the worst air quality are all still in California. In 2016, California cities occupied the top four positions for worst ozone and short-term particulate matter and seven positions for worst year-round particulate matter; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California,That the California Senate opposes any efforts by the current administration and Congress of the United States to deny, roll back, or otherwise undermine the waiver authority duly granted under the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.); and be it further
Resolved,That the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the President and Congress of the United States and to the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.