(August 30, 2005) -- On August 31 from 6-9 p.m. at the City of Commerce City Hall (2535 Commerce Way), the CA Air Resource Board (CARB) will hold what it calls a "public consultation meeting" on a controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed to behind closed doors by CARB staff and railroad industry reps earlier this year.
The CARB RR MOU has drawn strong opposition from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) which says it undercuts stronger anti-pollution measures. Other clean air advocates are also critical, saying it may jeopardize implementing a "no net increase" in pollution policy at the Port of L.A. Other activists say they were blindsided by the deal made without public input or CARB board approval.
CARB staff and RR industry reps strongly defend the MOU...and say it is the best way to obtain tangible air pollution reductions promptly.
AQMD, elected officials and grassroots activists are expected to turn out for the August 31 City of Commerce meeting...which is open to the public.
In an Aug. 24 release, AQMD said it will urge "CARB to pursue legislative and/or regulatory solutions to locomotive pollution instead of its highly flawed [MOU] agreement. In addition to toxic diesel emissions, locomotives in Southern California emit about 37 tons
per day of smog- and particulate-forming nitrogen oxides. That is more than
the combined nitrogen oxide emissions from the area's 320 largest facilities,
including all of the oil refineries, power plants and major manufacturing plants."
As previously reported by LBReport.com, at their July meeting, AQMD Boardmembers voiced blistering criticism of CARB's RR MOU. LBReport.com coverage with audio excerpts, click here.
AQMD and other activists have urged CARB to rescind the MOU...or at least hold it in abeyance pending a decision on whether to rescind it. CARB has refused to rescind the MOU or hold it in abeyance...and instead scheduled two "public consultation meetings" on the subject.
After holding one in Sacramento on August 10, followed by the August 31 CARB meeting at City of Commerce City Hall, CARB will hold a special meeting on September 22 -- scheduled near LAX -- devoted exclusively to discussing whatever action the CARB governing board decides to take relative to the MOU.
In Depth: CA Air Resources Bd. Schedules Sept. Hearing To Discuss Controversial RR MOU
AQMD Governing Board Strongly Criticizes CA Air Resource Bd. MOU With Railroads, Charges It Undermines Regional & Local Clean Air Efforts; LB Mayor O'Neill Puts LB On Record Opposing MOU and Supporting Hearing; CARB Revises Its July 21 Agenda To Discuss Agency's Future Procedures