California Senate approves Wieckowski Clean Air Act resolution

State's high air quality standards lead the nation

April 3, 2017

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today approved Sen. Bob Wieckowski’s Senate Resolution (SR) 27 to go on record opposing any federal action rolling back California’s ability to get a Clean Air Act waiver to adopt its own higher standards to reduce air pollution in the state. 

“For decades, state Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento and Washington, have worked in bipartisan fashion to combat air pollution through our Clean Air waiver authority,” said Wieckowski, chair of the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee.  “By enacting more than 145 waivers, we have improved our environment, our health and our clean energy economy.  Today, several states follow California’s lead and have enacted our higher standards.  Any federal action to revoke our waiver authority would be a dramatic reversal of the bipartisanship we have benefited from for nearly 50 years.  I am proud that my Senate colleagues have voted overwhelmingly to oppose any attempted weakening of our ability to protect our air and the health of California’s 40 million residents, and people in other states, too.”

The Trump administration has quickly moved to undo many environmental policies enacted to reduce pollution, but has not revoked California’s waiver authority at this time. California’s standards to reduce smog from the transportation sector predate the federal Clean Air Act.  The United States Congress in 1967 authorized only California to establish vehicle emission standards that are more stringent than comparable federal standards.

California’s air pollution control actions have resulted in reductions in hospitalizations for heart and lung diseases and fewer lost work days.  But many areas, still experience unhealthy air quality.

“With more than eight of 10 Californians suffering from unhealthy air, the state’s residents depend on Clean Air Act protections to avoid thousands of asthma attacks, emergency room visits and premature deaths attributed to pollution,” said Simon Mui, director of the California Vehicles and Fuels program of  the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “SR 27 affirms the state’s right and commitment to protecting public health and welfare.”

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.