Mike Rogge

South coast regulator change?

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, March 4, 2016 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Barry Wallerstein has worked for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for more than three decades and has been executive officer for the past 19 years. It appears that his reign is likely coming to an end. SCAQMD is recognized as the most powerful smog-fighting agency in the nation. The 13-member governing board, consisting of elected officials and other appointees from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, is charged with adopting pollution control regulations to protect the health of the 17 million people in a region with the dirtiest air in the country.

In November, elected officials from cities in Orange County unseated Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, a Democrat and clean-energy advocate, from the board and replaced him with Dwight Robinson, a Republican councilman from Lake Forest who has been outspoken about the effect on air pollution regulation on businesses. While that change gave Republicans a 7-member majority on the board, starting in February, Larry McCallon, a Republican mayor from San Bernardino County, pointed out that the Board’s controversial decision in December crossed party lines to reject tough new pollution control measures proposed by agency staff.

SCAQMD posted an agenda notice on Tuesday, March 1, that its governing board will hold a closed-door session on Friday in Diamond Bar to evaluate the performance of Mr. Wallerstein and consider his resignation, dismissal or other personnel actions. It also mentions that the appointment of an acting director might be considered at the same session. 

 

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