Air pollution permits back on track in Southern California

October 13, 2009

California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is working to burnish his green legacy in the Golden State. But one of his latest moves to lift a hold on air pollution permit applications is not likely to make environmentalists happy.

The governor signed a bill late Sunday that allows the agency regulating air pollution along California’s southern coast to start issuing more than 1,200 applications frozen by a state court decision in 2008.

Schwarzenegger signed the bill the same day he approved two measures benefiting the state’s solar power industry.

Environmentalists may call the governor’s actions two steps forward, one step back.

But the region’s business community cheered the move on air quality permits. The bill‘s author says it will create 60,000 jobs and $4 billion in economic activity in Southern California. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which regulates Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, believes that the governor’s approval will jump-start the region’s economy.

We wanted to know what readers think about the lifting of the ban and Schwarzenegger’s moves to boost the use of energy from renewable resources. What grade would you put on the governor’s environmental report card?

Photo:Traffic passes downtown Los Angeles on the Interstate-10 freeway. Photo credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


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My comment on the renewal of air-quality permits in southern California is two fold. First if permits are issued it is important to limit the exhaust of toxins well below the levels considered safe. The toxins might end up in the environment and partly in the ground water. Secondly if the prevailing air circulation is south or southwest the exhaust will pass dense populated urban areas. This might prove to be problematic and cause smog at days without sufficient air circulation

With regards,
Peter Dousma

Posted by Peter Dousma | Report as abusive

to me it seems that under the current economical conditions it’s not unthinkable that Schwarzenegger gives priority to boosting the market over protecting the environment.
Still, I believe that in the end protecting our environment and maintaining clean air is of more importance than the economy

Posted by daggie1234 | Report as abusive