As explained by Wikipedia The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the "clean air agency" in the government of California.

Established in 1967 when then-governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency. California is the only state that is permitted to have such a regulatory agency since it is the only state that had one before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act. Other states are permitted to follow CARB standards, or use the federal ones, but not set their own. 

The stated goals of CARB include attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants, and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations.
The governing board is made up of eleven members appointed by the state's governor. Half of the appointees are experts in professional and science fields such as medicine, chemistry, physics, meteorology, engineering, business, and law. Others represent the pollution control agencies of regional districts within California - Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, the San Joaquin Valley, and other districts.
Californians for Enforcement Reform and Transparency (CERT) announced Sept. 30 that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1402 (SB 1402) into law on Sept. 28. SB 1402 immediately requires the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) enforcement program to be transparent, consistent and fair. CERT members applaud the Governor for signing this good government bill into law.

Senator Bob Dutton, the incoming Republican Senate leader who drafted and sponsored the legislation, said, “CARB holds businesses accountable when they violate the California regulations they oversee. The problem is that there was nothing that held CARB accountable in how the penalties were determined or the reason for the violation. This important piece of legislation is a significant step in the right direction in showing the business community that the state of California is willing to work with them.”

CARB is charged with attaining and maintaining air quality standards in the state of California, which includes the enforcement of air-quality standards. Currently, it is not clear whether and how CARB applies criteria or policies when it assesses penalties. This resulted in a subjective, ad hoc enforcement program that did not clearly or consistently distinguishes serious violations that harm air quality from minor administrative glitches.

With the exception of a formal penalty policy, which CARB is required to publish by March 1, 2011, SB 1402 takes effect immediately. The new rules will require CARB to do the following:

  1. Provide a clear explanation of how penalties are assessed on a per-unit basis
  2. Develop a written, consistent penalty policy that ensures the largest penalties are imposed on serious violations that adversely impact air quality (due March 2011)
  3. Report those penalties to the Legislature annually

For more information on CERT and its positions, go to http://www.certreform.org

February 2, 2012 - as shared in email notification by Supervisor Yeager's Newsletter
 
STATE PASSES SWEEPING NEW VEHICLE EMISSIONS PROGRAM
  • As a member of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), I was proud to vote last week on a sweeping new policy that will greatly improve air quality across the country. By 2025, the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) Program will require automakers to reduce tailpipe emissions of soot and smog by roughly 75% and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half. The new regulations will also put 1.4 million zero-emission vehicles—like electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars—on the road.
  • ARB is the state agency responsible for combating air pollution and global warming. I was appointed as one of 11 members to the board in 2009 by Governor Schwarzenegger. I represent the interests of our region as a member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). Among other duties, ARB is charged with carrying out California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32. The ACC Program will help our state meet the goals set forth in AB 32.
  • The ACC Program combines the control of smog-causing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions into a single coordinated package of requirements for model years 2017 through 2025. New rules will save drivers money on fuel, create jobs, cut smog, and greenhouse gasses, and make California a world leader in clean car technology. The program has been in development over the past three years. It has been created in cooperation with the federal government, other states, and the auto industry.
  • The new rules can be broken out into four areas. The first of these deals with greenhouse gas emissions. By requiring a 50% reduction, auto makers will need to bring their fuel economy standards up to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon across their fleets, by 2025 nearly double the fuel economy that exists today.
  • The improvement in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through existing technologies, the use of stronger and lighter materials, and more efficient drivetrains and engines. Fourteen other states have already adopted California’s standard. With the support of the auto industry, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is slated to adopt these standards for the entire nation later this year.
  • The second area of the ACC Program deals with the soot and other particulate matter from tailpipe emissions that cause smog. California continues to have the nation’s worst air quality and has more than 26 million cars on the road. The new rules will require a 75% reduction in smog-forming pollutants. Manufacturers can achieve this in a variety of ways including hybrid vehicles, advanced transmissions, stop-start technology, and other available and emerging technologies.
  • The third—and most talked about—set of rules deals with zero emissions vehicles. This new regulation requires that 1 in 7 vehicles offered for sale in California will be an electric, hydrogen fuel cell, or other zero emissions vehicle. This will place California on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, a goal adopted by many nations and believed necessary to stabilize climate temperature.
  • The zero emissions vehicle regulation combined with the fourth area of rules to increase the number of clean fuel outlets will encourage technological advancements and build the market for clean vehicles. The rules incorporate flexibility for manufacturers to meet the requirements. They will be reviewed in five years and compared to how the market is developing.
  • The new zero-emission vehicle rules are designed to preserve consumer choice while ensuring the development of a full range of environmentally superior cars from compacts to SUVs and pickups. Research has shown that zero emission technology will only add $1,400 to $1,900 to the price of a car. However, owners will save $6,000 in reduced fuel and maintenance costs over the life the vehicle.
  • I feel proud to serve on a body like ARB that has the vision to make the tough decisions necessary to protect our residents. The ACC Program will be a boon to innovation in the technology and vehicle sectors. Even more, it will improve air quality in our state and ensure the health of our future generations.
  • As always, I encourage you to contact my office if you have any concerns or are interested in additional information. You can reach me at (408) 299-5040 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..