Valley residents, advocates speak up for sustainable communities

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) met last week to discuss progress of SB 375 implementation in the San Joaquin Valley, and while there was no action being taken, nearly twenty speakers addressed the Board.

In public testimony, people from diverse interests asked ARB to ensure that every county undertake ambitious action to meet the greenhouse gas targets and to support COGs in implementing SB 375 in a way that benefits residents across the region, including those from historically underrepresented communities.

Many speakers expressed their support for “Seizing the Opportunity”, a platform that outlines the issues that should be addressed by the COGs with their SCSes and highlights the many beneficial outcomes that come along with good planning. Speakers also called the Board’s attention to recent reports about shifts in the region’s housing demand and the importance of protecting farms, ranches, and the agricultural economy.

Chair Nichols expressed appreciation for the number of groups that have gotten involved in SB 375 in the Valley and the talent that they bring to the conversation. She said that she heard advocates’ consistent request that every county take ambitious steps to achieve the GHG reduction targets, even if the target is a Valley-wide goal.

Many speakers and Board members commended the Valley COGs for how far they’ve have come in the past two years, and in the end, the ARB gave their blessing for the Valley COGs to continue their work on SB 375.  It’s now time to turn attention to the county level as they continue to develop their SCSes. We’re looking forward to even more progress being made towards a healthier, more sustainable future for the Valley.

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