Thank you for Larry Stammer's article (Sept. 5), "AQMD Mapping Basic Strategy Changes in Air Pollution Fight." The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Board is indeed considering "fundamental changes in air pollution control tactics that could reshape (our) war on smog."
Since garbage-burning plants pose one of the greatest threats to current cleanup efforts, the AQMD's proposed change to Rule 1301 could be significant. The quirky "grandfather clause" in the rule contains a loophole large enough to let several of these polluting plants slip through. The AQMD should be congratulated for considering tightening this loophole so that all proposed projects would comply with the most recent (and more rigorous) regulations.
The garbage-burning supporters, however, are having an impact on the AQMD staff, which proposed to the board an 11th-hour amendment to the rule change that would specifically exempt waste-to-energy plants. I hope the AQMD board realizes that its staff's proposal is not consistent with its own good intentions or with our need for breathable air.
The other monumental change the AQMD is considering would weaken the emissions credit system. At a time when EPA is considering modifying this already confusing, convoluted system to make it more stringent, the AQMD may bow to industry pressure by increasing the value of the offsets. Industry should not be allowed to purchase the "right" to pollute our air. Clean air is a public resource, not a stock commodity. Our good health is not for sale.
Coalition for Clean Air