The California Air Resources Board, also known by its acronym, CARB, has a number of roles. Those roles include protecting the public from harmful effects of air pollution, as well as developing programs and actions to fight climate change in the state of California.
CARB is part of a coordinated three tier approach to cleaning up air pollution in California. The US EPA sets nationwide air quality and emission standards, as well as oversees state efforts and enforcement. Then CARB focuses on California’s unique air quality challenges. It sets the state’s own, stricter emission standards for a wide range of statewide pollution sources, including vehicles, fuels and consumer products. And then there are 35 local air pollution control districts that regulate emissions from businesses and stationary facilities. And these range from oil refineries to auto body shops and even dry cleaners.
CARB is governed by a 16 member board. 12 of those members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. Of those 12 only one, the Chair of CARB, server on the board full-time. As far as the other eleven members are concerned five must serve on local air districts, four are experts in fields that shape air quality rules, and two are members of the public. The Governor can choose any of the members to serve as Chair of the board. The remaining four CARB members include two people representing environmental justice, or EJ, communities – one of whom is appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules and one by the Speaker of the Assembly – and two non-voting members are appointed for legislative oversight – one each appointed by Senate Rules and the Assembly Speaker.
CARB is established in Health and Safety Code Division 26, Part 2. It’s found in quite a few sections, from section 39500 to 39961. These sections cover many of the Air Resources Board’s duties, which include permit assistance, goods movement, emission reduction program, cruise ships and ocean-going ships, school bus idling, and idling at schools, toxic air contaminants, coordination with federal acts, identification of toxic air contaminants, control of these toxic air contaminants, special provisions for infants and children, its scientific review panel, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Investment Plan and Communities Revitalization Act, global warming, and many other critical projects to reduce air pollution and protect public health.
You can read the transcript of the audio in today’s post here.