Yesterday I joined other clean-air advocates from around the state in asking the CA Transportation Commission to reinstate air quality as one of the key factors to consider when bond money to improve trade corridors is doled out. The CTC had previously removed air quality from the list of criteria compiled by its own staff, but after public testimony yesterday the commissioners restored it to the list. Breathers who live near busy ports and rail and truck routes now can have some hope that the public's money will be spent on transportation projects that make the air cleaner, not dirtier.This decision may signal the beginning of a new and much-needed integration of transportation and air-quality policies at the state level. Dale Bonner, Secretary of Business, Transportation & Housing, kept an open mind and met with all the interested parties, including state and local air quality advocates. The Air Resources Board also deserves credit for speaking up at yesterday’s meeting.
Bill Magavern, Senior Representative, Sierra Club California