South coast air permits bills pass key hurdle

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 28, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Yesterday, August 26, two bills that would provide relief for projects held up by the litigation in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) passed out of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. This is good news for manufacturers and others who have been forced to delay needed improvements, expansions and environmental compliance projects.

SB 696 (Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles) and SB 579 (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) moved without opposition.  CMTA joined with other members of the large, diverse coalition in support. SB 696 was amended so that it will impact all non-power plant projects. It ends a moratorium on air permits in the SCAQMD that has brought more than 1,000 projects to a halt and may impact another 3,000.

Time is of the essence to make amendments and move the bills. They have been declared as emergency statutes and, therefore, do not have to meet regular legislation deadlines, but the end of the 2009 session is September 11.
It is possible that the plaintiffs will soon file a motion to accomplish what the bills are designed to do.  If uncontested and the court agrees, a faster resolution could be forthcoming.

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