Is Your Operation a Nuisance?

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 29, 2013 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) has introduced a bill this year, SB 691, which will give the air districts unprecedented power to serve as prosecutor, judge and jury on nuisance complaints.  The bill is sponsored by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAQMD) presumably in response to a Bay Area refinery fire/explosion last August.

This bill would increase statewide the potential penalty for an air nuisance tenfold.  The maximum fine for Title V permit holders would increase from $10,000 to $100,000 (most manufacturing) and for non-Title V permit holders (like restaurants) from $1,000 to $10,000.  It could even apply to residents lighting a fire in their fireplace.  There is no definition of what constitutes a nuisance.  Someone accused of creating a nuisance does not need to have knowledge of the event or have had an intent to create the nuisance.  No harm needs to be proven and the funds collected go to the district.

There are already significant penalties on the books that could be employed by the districts if needed.  CMTA believes that this bill is a huge overreach by BAQMD and we are opposing it in its current form.

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989