by Tom Tanton, E&E Legal Director of Science and Technology Assessment
As appearing in Fox & Hound
To hear certain politicians, interest groups and newspaper columnists describe it recent decisions by the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board will condemn Southlanders to a return to 1970s levels smog with dire consequences to life and health. This is highly unlikely for a number of reasons.
Regarding the specific issues: first there’s the recent tightening of the already successful emissions reducing program, RECLAIM, that promises the largest emissions reduction in the history of that program. By any standard the update advances the task of cleaning the air – and therefore creating a healthier environment – in Southern California. But because the Board accepted only about 90 percent of its staff’s recommendations, some criticized the amendments as “rolling back” clean air rules. This – again by any standard – is indisputably false.