Pollution Control Proposal Targets Valley Businesses
Central Valley businesses are wary of a proposed plan to reduce vehicle emissions. It would require businesses with more than a hundred employees to help cut down the number of miles their workers drive.
(San Joaquin Valley, CA)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is holding its final public workshop Wednesday.
The proposal calls for employers to pick and choose among several strategies – like flexible work schedules or making lunch available on site. District spokeswoman Jamie Holt says officials hope the business community will help craft a pragmatic proposal that works for them.
Holt: “The goal of this rule is in no way to penalize employers, or to put employers out of business, or to cost employers money. That’s why we’re going through the workshop process right now. The goal is air quality. It’s about getting emissions reduced.”
But Holt admits some employers would have to spend money – at least in the proposal’s current form. And the business community is skeptical. Douglass Wilhoit heads up the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.
Wilhoit: “That’s just government gobbledygook that gets into what private enterprise can or cannot do. And I think there would be great resistance. For the most part, I just think that’s more interference on the private enterprise system.”
The rule on the table right now isn’t final. After the workshops, the Air Quality District plans to revise it and bring a final proposal to a vote later this year.