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California in Brief / SAN FRANCISCO

Businesses to face fees on emissions

May 22, 2008|From the Associated Press

Air pollution regulators in the San Francisco Bay Area voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve new rules that impose fees on businesses for emitting greenhouse gases.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's board of directors voted 15 to 1 to charge companies 4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide they emit, a spokeswoman said.

Experts say the fees, which cover nine counties in the Bay Area, are the first of their kind in the country. The new rules are set to take effect July 1.

The modest fee probably won't be enough to force companies to reduce their emissions, but backers say it sets an important precedent in combating climate change and could serve as a model for regional air districts nationwide.

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