Wednesday, 30 November 2005 17:00

AQMD fails to pass stricter emission rules

A rule that would prevent businesses emitting certain levels of toxins from locating near schools - Proposed Rule 1401.1 - failed to pass a vote by a quorum of the Governing Board during a hearing in early October. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) tabled the rule until their meeting this month. 

This rule would have set the strictest standards yet for businesses wanting to open or relocate near schools. Those wanting to open within 500 feet of a school would have to show that the cancer risk at the school would not exceed one in a million and those opening up to 1,000 feet would either have to meet this cancer risk limit or a 10 in a million limit set by an existing rule.

The California Small Business Alliance (CSBA), of which the California Autobody Association (CAA) is a board member and David McClune is the current executive director, testifed at the hearing.

"The rule is costly and burdensome," said Bill LaMarr, executive director of the CSBA, testifying for the alliance. "It will cause the loss of tax revenue and jobs."

LaMarr also testified that this rule would require businesses to operate in a manner that would be more than 1,000 times cleaner than the average ambient air quality in the entire region, thereby making a threshold or barrier of a few hundred or a few thousand feet absolutely meaningless.

The environmental community supported the proposed rule in force and encouraged the board to make the rule even more restrictive. CSBA and CAA will continue to oppose this rule.