Questions remain as Gov. Brown signs legislation to address neighborhood-level air pollution

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation aimed at improving air quality in disadvantaged communities, a key step in shifting the debate over how the state fights climate change and an issue that has tested the influence of environmental justice advocates.

The law imposes new requirements to monitor and reduce pollution in neighborhoods where houses and schools are squeezed between oil refineries, industrial facilities and freight corridors. Ramping up efforts to alleviate asthma and other health problems was part of a broader deal to extend the cap-and-trade program for cutting greenhouse gases, a priority for the governor.

The focus now shifts to state and local regulators, who are responsible for implementing the law despite concerns that it isn’t stringent enough or well-funded.

Gov. Jerry Brown signs law to extend cap and trade, securing the future of California's key climate program
Brown thanked activists “for lighting a fire under all these politicians” to tackle pollution, which he described as a dangerous byproduct of economic prosperity.

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