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Senate OKs Regional Air Quality Zones

August 27, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — The state Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to establish "sensitive zones" for air quality in the heavily polluted San Gabriel and Pomona valleys and in the Riverside-San Bernardino area.

The bill by Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (D-El Monte) sailed through the Senate on a 36-0 vote and was sent back to the Assembly for concurrence on amendments.

Tanner's measure would require plants that move into the sensitive zones to demonstrate that air quality in those areas would directly benefit from pollution offsets purchased elsewhere in the South Coast Air Basin.

Purchase Offset Credits

Existing air pollution offset programs allow firms to meet pollution-reduction requirements by purchasing offset credits as far away as Long Beach or Van Nuys. Firms are not required to demonstrate that areas near a plant benefit from the offset.

According to a Senate analysis of the legislation, it is supported by the cities of Duarte, Rosemead, South El Monte, Walnut, Covina and Claremont as a way to curb pollution.

Among the opponents listed in the analysis is Southern California Gas Co., which contends that the measure would impose additional emission restrictions on industry without benefiting air quality in the South Coast Air Basin.

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