California Legislature OKs bill intended to reduce pollution from vehicles

| 9/8/2008

The California Senate narrowly approved a bill that would tap on truckers and others to help reduce pollution. The bill’s next stop is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk because the Assembly already voted in favor of it.

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 in certain circumstances.

The Senate voted 21-17 to advance a bill to the governor that 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.”

Sponsored by Assemblyman Juan Arambula, D-Fresno, the measure – AB2522 – would require the state 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-duty 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.

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

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor