The 2022 legislative session returned to normal after prior COVID restrictions, with a large number of bills being considered.
Statewide 2023 funding that will cover several of our programs:
• $60M through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and General Fund for AB 617 implementation; $240M for AB 617 incentives. We are expecting to receive $9M for implementation and ~$35M for our incentive programs.
• $381M for Clean Cars For All Program and Clean School Bus Program.
• $110M for “resilience centers,” including Clean Air Centers.
• $60M for commercial harbor craft engine retrofits.
• $112M for residential decarbonization programs.
Bills we sponsored that passed:
• AB 2836 (E. Garcia) - Reauthorizes Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Incentive Program, AB 923 Incentive Program, and motor vehicle fees that support them. We received ~$50M in funding from these programs.
• AB 2721 (Lee) - Changed meeting and travel reimbursement and compensation rates for Board member attendance at our meetings. Allowed for development of an active transportation policy for Board members.
Bills we sponsored that did not advance:
• AB 2214 (C. Garcia) – Requires private schools and some charter schools to adhere to public school notification requirements during the CEQA process prior to new construction.
• AB 1897 (Wicks) – Changes penalty provisions for air quality violations by refineries under certain conditions.
The Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant legislation in U.S. history to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen energy security. The savings, jobs, and other benefits provided by this legislation will reach communities across California, and include significant funding for clean heavy-duty vehicles, port infrastructure, clean energy project financing, pollution reduction grants, and environmental justice block grants. Our staff will participate in upcoming workshops on funding allocation and determination of project eligibility with the goal of maximizing lasting benefits for Bay Area communities.
While our federal proposal for wildfire response was not included in the final IRA package, we continue to advocate for programs that expand clean air center networks and home air filtration in our most vulnerable communities. To that end, we are continuing to support proposals from House and Senate members that we hope will be part of 2023 federal budget or legislation.
We had a significant presence at the 115th A&WMA Annual Conference in July 2022 with 31 representatives, including board members, leadership, staff, and interns participating or speaking at the event.
We joined the State of California’s lawsuit against the United States Postal Service to stop the agency from replacing 90 percent of its delivery fleet with fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. The lawsuit asserts that the Postal Service was obligated to follow a process mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act, but failed to do so. The current USPS fleet plan if implemented would lock in decades of air pollution and GHG emissions.
We sent two Board members and three staff members to participate in the COP27 UN Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. COP27 provided a unique and diverse experience for our members to participate in some of the important and consequential discussions surrounding climate change on the global stage. Through our participation, we learned about innovative technologies being deployed and policies being enacted around the world that can be replicated in the Bay Area. We also shared agency knowledge, successes, and strategies that have helped mitigate climate change at the local level.