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Mike Byrnes & Assoc. , Inc. Names the California Air Resources Board as Bumper To Bumper® People of the Month for August, 2009


Of course you've heard of the rules of the road. But who makes those rules? This year we've been profiling the different agencies contributing to the regulations that govern and impact commercial vehicle driving. Earlier this year we profiled the DOT, the NHTSA, the AAMVA, the FMCSA, the AASHTO and the FHWA. You can find all those profiles in our Article Archives. This month Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc., highlights the California Air Resources Board.

California Air Resources BoardWhile not a national agency, the CARB is very powerful and influential in the area of environmental protection. (California faces the nation's greatest air quality challenge.) Many of its actions result in the setting of national standards and development of federal regulations. For example, when California air regulators adopted a mandate requiring low-carbon fuels this past April, the standards were seen as possibly serving as a template for national policy.

CARB was established in 1967 by combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board. California is the only state that is permitted to have such a regulatory agency, since it is the only state that had one before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act. Other states are permitted to follow the ARB standards, or use the federal ones, but not set their own.

California's Legislature established the Air Resources Board (ARB) in 1967 to:

  • attain and maintain healthy air quality
  • conduct research into the causes of and solutions to air pollution
  • systematically attack the serious problems caused by motor vehicles, which are a major cause of air pollution in the state.

The Air Resources Board's 11 members are appointed by the Governor. Five are experts in fields such as medicine, chemistry, physics, meteorology, engineering, business and law. Five others are elected officials who represent regional air pollution control agencies - one each from Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, and the San JoaquinValley, and one represents the other districts. The Chairman is the only full-time member. With headquarters in Sacramento, the ARB also operates a motor vehicle testing and analysis laboratory in El Monte.

According to CARB, health problems linked to air pollution include:

  • eye irritation
  • sore throats
  • coughing
  • lung damage
  • cancer
  • premature death.

Those with heart or lung disease or problems such as asthma can be severely impaired. Healthy children and adults who play or exercise vigorously are also at risk. Programs for cleaner air range from research and regulation to enforcement and education. CARB’s activities include:

  • setting and enforcing emission standards for motor vehicles, fuels and consumer products
  • setting health-based air quality standards
  • conducting research
  • monitoring air quality
  • identifying and setting control measures for toxic air contaminants
  • providing compliance assistance for businesses
  • producing education and outreach programs and materials
  • overseeing and assisting local air quality districts which regulate most non-vehicular sources of air pollution.

You can learn more about CARB at the Website,