December 19, 2019-South Coast Air Quality Management District, Wayne Nastri

Tuesday, December 18, 2019

Open Board of Directors Meeting


Norton Regional Event Center
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:   Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Shelly Cervantes, Ken Coate, LaDonna DiCamillo, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Milford Harrison, John Husing, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, P.T. McEwen, John Mirau, Catherine Pritchett, Larry Pyle, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Steve von Rajcs, Lupe Valdez, Pete Van Helden, Ray Wolfe, and Frank Zabaleta,


Guests:  Scott Carlson, Robert Chavez, Mark Gibbs, Gilbert Hutton, Dan McGivney, Mark Taylor and Todd Warden.


Announcements: 1) Dale Marsden has announced his resignation as Superintendent of San Bernardino Unified School District.  2)  Bruce Baron, Chancellor, has announced his retirement from San Bernardino Community College District.   3) The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District has appointed Heather Dyer as the new General Manager, replacing Doug Headrick.  4) The Inland Action federal advocacy trip is scheduled for Sunday, March 8, through Wednesday March 11, 2020.  Members are asked to complete their participation forms as soon as possible.  The group will be staying at the Carlyle in Dupont Circle, and the reception will be held at the same location as last year.


M/S/P: Minutes from December 10, 2019.


Lupe Valdez introduced Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer of South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).  Wayne Nastri explained that the South Coast Air Basin has the worst air quality in the nation.  The Federal Clean Air Act carries serious sanctions for non-conformity, including withholding of transportation dollars.  SCAQMD has a daunting deadline of January 2020 to submit an updated air quality plan that shows compliance with the Act.  SCAQMD is responsible for stationary sources like factories, plants, gas stations, etc., not mobile sources, yet 80% of pollutants in the Basin come from mobile sources.  By January, the District must provide a detailed plan that specifically identifies how requirements will be met and can no longer utilize the “black box” solution of unidentified technological developments.   The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already written a letter to the California Air Resources Board notifying it of potential sanctions if the January plan does not show full compliance with the Act.


There is concern that the Administration will not look favorably upon another waiver for California, due to the stressed relationship with our state.   The conundrum is that California has the strictest air quality standards in the country and has made significant progress in reducing pollution in the Basin.  Regardless, California’s ability to continue those standards has been criticized, and its biggest challenges are pollutants from federally regulated interstate rail, trucks, and ships.  There are approximately 400,000 trucks operating in the State, with about 16,000 related to goods movement.  Logistics is recognized as a critical element of the southern California economy.


Low emission trucks must be introduced into the region at a faster pass.  The cost differential between a “near zero” emission truck (which removes about 90% of the pollutants) and a standard diesel is approximately $100,000, while the differential for a “zero” emission truck is three times the cost of diesel.  The Carl Moyer Program provides financing to fund the differential, so substantial progress can be made by concentrating on “near zero” equipment.


The AB 617 Program is a different way of looking at air quality by focusing on emissions in “specific communities” and requiring community guidance and input.  Now in the third year of the program, funds are decreasing and uses are expanding to include mitigation.  In what are commonly disadvantaged communities, there is a strong push for zero emission technology.  Funding is far short of what is needed.  Approximately $1-2 billion a year will be needed to introduce a new truck fleet.


SCAQMD is proposing a national infrastructure bill that contains a superfund for air quality.  There are more people impacted by poor air quality than affected by other types of superfund sites.  The EPA is initiating a clean truck program, but the fear is that EPA will not move fast enough; i.e., four-year deadline for clean technology which is a year past SCAQMD deadlines.


California’s SB 732, if passed, would authorize SCAQMD to place a revenue generating mechanism on the ballot to impose a tax within the four-county boundary for air quality improvement programs.  If approved, we could expect a measure to appear on the ballot in 2022.


A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned 8:34 a.m.