EPA’s tougher smog rules to get Sacramento airing
December 23, 2014
• One of three places in the nation for public hearings
• Local officials say it will be impossible to meet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three public hearings – one in Sacramento -- on its proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog.
EPA wants to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to, as it puts it, “better protect health and the environment.”
It’s also thinking about making it even harder to comply, perhaps taking the acceptable level down to 60 ppb.
Fat chance of the San Joaquin Valley meeting the new demands, says the region’s top air pollution control officer.
“To meet the new standard, fossil fuel combustion emissions must be eliminated in San Joaquin Valley and in Southern California,” Seyed Sadredin, air pollution control officer and executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, told CVBT earlier this month.
He says it would take some sort of miracle to meet the new requirements.
“Attainment of the new standard will require transformative measures that need sufficient time to be planned and implemented on a large scale,” Mr. Sadredin said. “For instance, such measures include turn-over of existing fleets of personal and commercial vehicles to zero emissions technology along with major investments in building new fueling and transportation infrastructures.”
The EPA plans public hearings in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Texas, as well as in Sacramento.
The Sacramento hearing is set for Feb. 2, 2015, at the California Air Resources Board’s Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 “I” Street.
Each hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 7:30 p.m. local time.
EPA contends that the benefits of meeting the proposed standards will significantly outweigh the costs.
Those attending the hearings in Washington and Sacramento will be required to show valid picture identification to enter the buildings. The public may register to speak at a specific time at a hearing by contacting Eloise Shepherd at 919-541-5507 or firstname.lastname@example.org. People may also register in person on the day of the hearing. EPA will accept written comments on the proposed standards until March 17, 2015. The agency will issue a final rule by Oct. 1, 2015.