Most Significant Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Legislation in United States on Its Way to Governor Brown

August 31, 2016

Bill sets reduction goals of 50% black carbon, 40% methane and 40% HFC gases in California by 2030

SACRAMENTO, CA – A groundbreaking environmental justice proposal authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has been approved in the State Senate by a vote of 25-12 and now heads to Governor Jerry Brown for consideration. Senate Bill 1383, known as the Super Pollutant Reduction Act, sets goals to achieve a 50% reduction in black carbon emissions, 40% reduction in methane, and a 40% reduction in HFC gases in the state of California by 2030. SB1383 would be the most aggressive law to tackle short-lived climate pollutants in the nation.

“California doesn’t shy away from tackling major climate change legislation – we lead,” said Senator Lara. “The Super Pollutant Reduction Act will continue placing California at the vanguard of climate change policy and ensure that our most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities - which are disproportionately affected - benefit from a proactive, lasting reduction strategy in short lived climate pollutants.”

In 2013, Senator Lara authored Senate Bill 605 which directed the Air Resources Board to outline a draft strategy to combat Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP).

As a result of Senate Bill 605, the Air Resources Board released a report in September that describes proposed actions the State will take to move forward aggressively to reduce emissions of SLCPs and help meet Governor Brown’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. 

Amendments taken in the Assembly were the product of conversations with the waste and dairy industries - two of the major sources of methane emissions identified in the strategy.

These amendments provide a reasonable and realistic approach to achieve pollution reduction goals – an approach that will include incentives, oversight, and leakage protections to ensure those industries achieve their reduction goals.

Senator Lara's Super Pollutant Reduction Act of 2016  will require that by January 1, 2018, the state Air Resources Board approve and implement a strategy to reduce statewide emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in emissions of methane by 40%, F-gases by 40% and black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by the year 2030. 

“SB 1383 is a landmark piece of legislation that will pay dividends for the health of Californians and the planet,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator with the Californians Against Waste. “By laying the groundwork to expand composting statewide, this bill will eliminate 75% of entirely avoidable landfill emissions.”

“Strong policies like SB 1383 that reduce deadly pollution will have a direct impact on Californians suffering from lung illnesses,” said American Lung Association in California President and CEO Olivia Diaz-Lapham. “It will allow children with asthma to breathe a little easier. It will start to clear the air in low-income communities faced with a constant barrage of pollution from nearby ports and freeways.  And it will eventually save all taxpayers billions of dollars in health care costs annually.”