Gino DiCaro

Governor Vetoes Two Environmental Bills

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Oct. 1, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed two environmental bills passed by the Legislature that were on CMTA's oppose list: SB 1703 (Richard Alarcon, D-Sun Valley), the Green Business Program, and AB 2042 (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) Long Beach and Los Angeles Ports Air Pollution.

In his veto message on AB 2042, the Governor stated that it was imperative that an innovative program including financial and regulatory incentives be developed to reduce air pollution from ports throughout the state, building on the regulatory program already mapped out by the Air Resources Board (ARB). He directed Cal EPA and the ARB to work with the ports, railroads, other goods movement facilities, US EPA and local communities to develop such a program and urged the South Coast Air Quality District to earmark a greater than proportional share of funds for pollution reduction incentive programs to port-affected communities. Furthermore, he acknowledged that the bulk of the air pollution is generated by federally regulated sources and that the federal government needs to do more in the way of incentives and regulations to bring this situation under control.

In addition, it would have limited ports emissions by 2006 to the 2004 level, essentially limiting growth and hampering the economic recovery. Environmentalists were angered by the veto and Lowenthal has vowed to reintroduce the bill again next year.

SB 1703 excluded manufacturers of toxic or hazardous materials from being certified as a California green business regardless of full compliance or even exceedance of State and federal environmental guidelines, permits and regulations. Many of whom manufacture products that are necessities in everyday life in an exemplary manner .

Schwarzenegger recognized the value of such businesses in his veto message proclaiming, "This bill creates a one-size-fits-all approach to green business programs and does not give local governments the flexibility to respond to the needs of businesses in their communities." He obviously does not feel that the State should be exercising its influence in this arena and that these matters are better left to local communities. He stated that the bill would impede the ability of existing local green business programs to operate independently and acquire grant funding. He also noted that several successful programs are already in place on a voluntary basis and operate without government involvement or assistance.
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