Local air quality officials are gaining new powers to quickly stop polluters under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, follows years of frustration in communities such as Paramount, Boyle Heights and Maywood — where regulators have struggled to stop highly polluting operations after discovering hot spots of Chromium-6, lead and other dangerous pollutants.
Currently, air regulators seeking orders to curtail operations that violate rules and threaten public health must go through an administrative hearing board. The process can take months, while the pollution continues unabated.
The new law will give pollution control officers the power to issue immediate orders to stop polluting operations when violations pose an “imminent and substantial” danger.
The new powers come as state lawmakers are imposing requirements that local air districts do more to monitor and reduce toxic pollutants.
Source: LA Times