Governor Schwarzenegger Vetoes AB 2042 ("No Increased Air Pollution With Port Growth")
We Post Full Text of Governor's Veto Message
Ass'yman Lowenthal Blasts Veto, Vows To Reintroduce Legislation On This Issue in '05Return To Front Page
(Sept. 29, 2004, initial post as breaking) -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed AB 2042 (no increased air pollution with port growth) by LB area Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP-PV).
LBReport.com posts the text of the Governor's veto message which is as follows:
To the Memebrs of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 2042 without my signature.
Improving the quality of our air is a priority of my Administration. Through the budget and other legislative efforts we have committed millions of dollars to clean air programs that are assured to make significant improvements in air quality. I urge the South Coast Air Quality Management District to ensure that port-affected communities will receive a greater than proportional share of funds for these pollution reduction incentive programs.
This bill establishes 2004 as a ceiling for air emissions from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The bill requires the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the Air Resouces Board (ARB) and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, to develop a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) implementing emission control measures for operations at the ports.
However, this bill will not reduce pollution in any way. We need to focus our scarce resources on substantive, prompt action that will make real progress toward our shared air quality goals. Ports and federally regulated sources of air pollution must do more to reduce emissions in order for California to meet its mandates and to reduce negative air impacts in the communities in which these facilities operate.
In order to improve air quality and protect the health of the residents, it is imperative that an innovative program including financial and regulatory incentives be developed and implemented to reduce air pollution from the ports. I am directingthe California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and the ARB to work with the ports, the railroads, other goods movement facilities, local air districts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and local communitiesto develop such a program for our ports throughout the state. This program should build on the regulatory program already mapped out by the ARB and the U.S. EPA. As most of the pollution is generated by federally regulated sources, I urge the federal government to provide the necessary incentives and regulations that will result in early reduction of pollution from the ports and related goods movement.
s/ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Responding to the Governor's veto, Assemblyman Lowenthal's office issued the following written release:
Bowing to the pressure of a small number of multi-national corporations and ignoring the pleas of thousands of harbor area residents, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today vetoed AB 2042, Assemblymember Alan Lowenthalís (D-Long Beach) proposal to stem air pollution eminating from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
"Governor Schwarzenegger has failed the residents of the Harbor Area with this veto," said Lowenthal. "The Governor has received over 3000 postcards asking him to sign AB 2042. Unfortunately, the voices of a small number of business interests outweighed the will of the people."
AB 2042 would have required the South Coast Air Quality Management District to establish a baseline for air quality at the ports based on emission inventories completed by the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles. Once the baseline is established the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would be required to control operations at the ports in a manner that doesnít exceed the baseline.
"The Governor has stated that clean air is a birthright of every Californian and pledged to reduce air pollution by 50 percent. Signing AB 2042 would have been a great first step," said Lowenthal. "In fact, without significant reductions at the ports, we have no chance of achieving that goal at all."
The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles account for 24 percent of the four-county South Coast Air Basinís pollution. Of the sources at the ports, trucks and ships are the biggest polluters. The diesel trucks serving the ports emit approximately 47 tons of NOx each day just within port boundaries. Ships add another 49 tons a day, with the remaining portion of the 181 tons of NOx coming from diesel equipment and trains serving the ports.
To put those numbers into perspective, the south coast basinís 6 largest oil refineries produce a combined 2 tons of NOx each day, or 1/90th the output of the ports.
"Given recent studies showing the devastating health effects of diesel pollution, especially among children and the fact that the ports are expected to more than double in the next 20 years, we have a crisis on our hands," said Lowenthal.
"Enough is enough, we already know the air is bad, my bill just says it canít get any worse," said Lowenthal. "AB 2042ís modest approach would simply have forced the ports to grow responsibly, allowing residents of the area to breathe a little bit easier," he continued. "Instead, we are forced to live with the status quo which we know is harming our children."
Lowenthal vowed to re-introduce legislation on this issue should he be elected to the California State Senate in November.
During the historic 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis, candidate Schwarzenegger's campaign web site ("joinarnold.com") stated in pertinent part:
"Jobs vs. the environment" is a false choice. Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that clean air and water result in a more productive workforce, and a healthier economy, which will contribute to a balanced state budget.
Moreover, it is children who suffer disproportionate impacts of environmental toxins. Studies show that children who live near freeways, for example, suffer significantly higher asthma rates and learning disabilities...
Breathing clean and healthy air is a right of all Californians, especially our children, whose health suffers disproportionately when our air is polluted. The future health of California's environment and economy depend on our taking action now.
AB 2042 was supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the City of Long Beach via its elected City Council. It was opposed by the Port of LB (via its non-elected Board of Harbor Commissioners) and by the LB Area Chamber of Commerce and the CA Chamber of Commerce.
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