BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1685


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          Date of Hearing:  May 4, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          1685 (Gomez) - As Amended April 11, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill increases maximum civil penalties for violations of  
          California Air Resources Board (ARB) regulations, orders, or  
          rules, regarding vehicles emissions to bring penalty assessments  
          into alignment with those of the United States Environmental  








                                                                    AB 1685


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          Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).  Specifically, this bill: 


          1)Increases the maximum civil penalty, from $500 to $37,000 per  
            action for violations of certain air quality orders, rules, or  
            regulations adopted by ARB. 


          2)Provides that violations involving portable fuel containers or  
            small off-road engines remain subject to civil penalties of up  
            to $500 per.


          3)Authorizes ARB to adjust the above maximum penalties based on  
            the California Consumer Price Index without having to go  
            through rulemaking procedures. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Unknown additional penalty revenue, which would be deposited  
          into the Air Pollution Control Fund.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Background. To address transportation sector emissions, both  
            ARB and U.S. EPA regulations require that, prior to  
            introducing a vehicle for sale, a manufacturer must  
            demonstrate that the vehicle meets certain emissions  
            standards.  In California, manufacturers must additionally  
            demonstrate compliance with state air-quality standards and  
            manufacturers who fail to comply are subject to civil  
            penalties and other enforcement actions.











                                                                    AB 1685


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          2)Purpose. According to the author's office, ARB's current  
            penalty levels were established in the 1970s, and over time,  
            the penalty amount has degraded in its deterrent effect as the  
            price of cars and other large equipment has risen  
            significantly. Despite the state's strict emissions standards  
            and worst-in-the-nation air pollution, the state's penalty  
            levels have trailed far behind those at the federal level for  
            similar violations. 



            AB 1685 brings California's penalties for mobile source  
            violations in line with their federal counterparts in order to  
            more effectively deter noncompliance with the state's air  
            quality regulations, thus better protecting public health and  
            the environment, preventing unfair competition for those  
            manufacturers playing by the rules, and ensuring that  
            California meets its pollution reduction and climate goals.





          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081