The California Air Resources Board has unanimously approved a second landmark air quality regulation. Thursday it passed a sweeping rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And, today the board signed off on a controversial measure to dramatically decrease diesel fuel emissions for big rig trucks and buses.
The rule will require upgrades or replacements of heavy-duty diesel vehicles to meet stricter air quality standards in the next 15 years. ARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols says the rule will have a big impact on public health.
“The rule that we’ve adopted today will save 9,000 lives in this state by the time that it’s fully implemented.”
Health care leaders and environmentalists have showed strong support for the rule. The trucking industry has said the measure will cripple businesses that are already struggling in the troubled economy. The measure could cost California operators a total of five billion dollars to make the changes. Nichols says the state will make one billion dollars in funding available to offset costs.
ARB says the rule will bring California in line with federal air quality requirements.