Los Angeles, CA - Today the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) moved ahead with a plan to rush approval of new power plants into the Southland region. Dozens of community members attended the hearing to urge the Board to prioritize public health and clean air over the needs of the gas industry.
The working group established today by the SCAQMD board will consider raiding a reserve bank of air credits, traditionally set aside for schools, hospitals, and other facilities that serve the public good, to ensure sufficient supply of credits for power plant developers. The South Coast region is an extreme non-attainment zone for 8-hour ozone and a non-attainment zone for particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5).
Riverside resident Yassmin Kavezade offered the following statement in response:
"I feel sick and for once it's not from the air I'm breathing. I thought to myself, 'the Air District can't seriously be considering taking air credits from hospitals and schools and giving them away to the gas industry,' but yes, they are. What an injustice.
“Our air is so dirty already. We keep hoping for a plan to make the air safe to breathe again, but it's hard to see when that will happen if the air district is so eager to help new power plants get built. Who among our leaders will stand up for clean air?”
Aura Vasquez, community organizer with the the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign, issued the following statement in response:
“This is madness. The Air District is charged with protecting our health and making the air safer to breathe. Instead, they're bending over backwards to fast-track new power plants."
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