AB 617 BACKGROUND
In 2017, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 617 (C. Garcia, Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017) to develop a new community focused program to more effectively reduce exposure to air pollution and preserve public health. This bill directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and all local air districts, including the Imperial County Air Pollution (APCD), to take measures to protect communities disproportionally impacted by air pollution. With input from communities and air districts throughout California, CARB developed a Community Air Protection Blueprint to implement AB 617.
There are five central components to the new AB 617 mandate:
Community-level air monitoring
A state strategy and community specific emission reduction plans
Accelerated review of retrofit pollution control technologies on industrial facilities subject to Cap-and-Trade
Enhanced emission reporting requirements
Increased penalty provisions for polluters
Additionally, CARB may direct additional grant funding to communities determined to have the highest air pollution burden.