AQMD passes extensive Inland Empire clean air plan
The California government's air quality regulators Friday approved a plan aimed at cutting Inland Empire air pollution by more than 75 percent by 2020.
The plan contains 37 proposals ranging from considerations of futuristic high-speed trains to separate highway truck lanes and proposed restrictions on everything from wood-burning fireplaces to the use of volatile solvents.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted the plan to help the region meet federal deadlines for emission thresholds that take effect in 2015 and a more stringent set of federal standards that kick in five years later.
The federal standards call for the region to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides by 192 tons per day by 2015 and by 383 tons per day by 2020, a 76 percent reduction current levels.
The plan still faces required approvals from the state's Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If the plan receives the required approvals, each individual proposal within it will also face a rigorous rulemaking process before being enacted.
Some of the loftier proposals in the plan, such as the call for a high-speed magnetically levitated train to carry cargo containers from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the Inland Empire, would require extensive capital investment and are unlikely given the state's current budget situation.