Statement from the American Lung Association in California on the Passage of Clean Air Incentives Legislation

(September 19, 2013)

Sacramento, CA The American Lung Association in California applauds the passage of Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8, Perea and Skinner), approved in the final days of the legislative session, as critical clean air legislation to saves lives and reduce lung illness.  A co-sponsor of the bill along with the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association and CALSTART, the American Lung Association in California worked hard to pass AB 8 to protect communities around the state from harmful air pollution.  “The American Lung Association in California believes AB 8 is a historic measure and by far the most important air quality bill in the legislature this year,” said American Lung Association in California Governing Board Chair, Marsha Ramos.  “We commend the bill’s authors, Assemblymembers Henry Perea, Nancy Skinner and principal co-author Senator Fran Pavley for their dedication to this bill.”  Earlier this week at an event promoting plug-in electric vehicles, Governor Jerry Brown announced he would sign AB 8 when it arrived on his desk.

Supported by health and medical organizations throughout the state, AB 8 will provide over $2 billion in funds over the next decade to reduce diesel emissions and support clean alternative fuels and technologies.  This infusion of clean air funding is exactly what is needed to help California meet federal clean air targets and the state’s public health, climate and green energy goals.

California has the worst air quality in the country due in large part to transportation sources, and air pollution leads to thousands of public health emergencies every year including asthma attacks, hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiac illnesses, emergency room visits, heart attacks, strokes and even stunted lung development in children.  The Carl Moyer Diesel Emissions Reduction Program and the AB 118 Clean Transportation Investment Program extended by AB 8 will cut health risks from toxic diesel soot and support emerging, advanced transportation technologies and fuels that cut pollution and move California beyond dirty energy sources.

The Carl Moyer Program has cleaned up more than 48,000 dirty diesel engines and removed 146,000 tons of smog-forming emissions from California’s air since its inception.  The AB 118 program has deployed 23,000 advanced clean and alternative fueled vehicles since 2007.  Clean air projects funded under these programs include upgrades and replacements of trucks, buses, locomotives, agricultural and marine engines and deployment of infrastructure and vehicles that run on electricity, hydrogen and other cleaner fuels. 

Air quality incentive programs like those included in AB 8 that support and enhance regulatory solutions have become a key part of the state’s clean air and health strategy.

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