California bill intended to reduce pollution from vehicles

| 7/29/2008

A bill nearing passage at the California statehouse would tap on truckers and other drivers to help reduce pollution.

State law now authorizes air pollution control districts and air quality management districts to levy a fee of up to $2 on motor vehicle registrations. The fee can be increased up to $6 if certain conditions are met.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Juan Arambula, D-Fresno, the measure would authorize the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District to increase the fee to as much as $30. The revenue would be used to develop “incentive-based programs to achieve surplus emissions reductions.”

The state would be required to assess the use of these fees in meeting and maintaining state and federal ambient air quality standards.

According to an analysis of the bill, programs that would be supported by revenue from the fees would focus on modernizing the fleets of passenger vehicles and light- and heavy-duty trucks.

In an effort to reduce air pollution from vehicles, the measure also would authorize the San Joaquin Valley district to adopt rules and regulations to reduce vehicle trips.

The bill – AB2522 – is awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. The Assembly already voted in favor of the effort.

To view other legislative activities of interest for California in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor