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Politics

State Approves Gloria's Audit Request For Air Pollution Control District

Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, speaks at a news conference regarding a bill he co-authored in response to the region's hepatitis A outbreak that began in 2017, Jan. 25, 2019.
Susan Murphy
Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, speaks at a news conference regarding a bill he co-authored in response to the region's hepatitis A outbreak that began in 2017, Jan. 25, 2019.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, announced Wednesday that the state's Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved his request for an audit of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.

Gloria on July 12 requested an audit of the APCD's finances, the data on which it bases decisions and how much public outreach is done regarding permitting and air quality enforcement actions, citing issues with the district's transparency and the region's poor air quality in the request.

"This audit is important not only to uphold accountability, but also to inform the public of the programmatic functions of the Air Pollution Control District particularly as we attempt to address the poor air quality in our region," Gloria said.

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In April, the American Lung Association rated San Diego County as having the sixth-highest rate of ozone pollution in the U.S. from 2015 to 2017. The county's average number of high-ozone days also increased over the ALA's 2018 report, which covered 2014-2016. Because of its high pollution rate, the ALA gave San Diego an "F" for its air quality.

Gloria has also sought to restructure the APCD, which is currently composed of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Gloria introduced a bill in the Assembly in February that would expand the agency's board to 11 members from local governments around the county, as well as the public.

Should the bill become law, the Board of Supervisors would have two members on the APCD governing board, one of which would also represent the agency on the state board. The mayor of San Diego or a San Diego City Council member would also sit on the board, as would a city council member from a city in each of the five supervisorial districts.

The governing board would also be required to have three members of the public who specialize in public health, environmental justice and the science of air pollution. Each member of the governing board would serve a four-year term. The Assembly approved the bill in May and it is currently being considered by committees in the state Senate.

Gloria did not disclose when the audit may be completed and released.

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State Approves Gloria's Audit Request For Air Pollution Control District
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

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