Because the 1970 Clean Air Act allows only two sets of regulations in the U.S.: the EPA’s, and California’s (which must be stricter than the EPA’s), California may be regulating for your state, even if you don’t live in California. Roughly a dozen states routinely adopt California’s stricter standards, and sometimes as many as 18, and collectively these states can represent as much as half of the U.S. population. Since non-Californians may not be familiar with making their opinion known outside of their own state, this post explains how you can let California regulators know what you think.
First, the Air Resources Board (CARB) takes comments at its website. These comments are printed and given to each board member prior to the meeting. You may also FAX or write to CARB. A FAX, postcard, or letter addressed to Chairwoman Mary Nichols will reach the entire board.
Second, a phone call to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger helps, since the Governor appoints many of the board members. The Governor’s phone number is 916-445-2841. Press 1, then 5, and then 0 and you will be transferred to an operator to leave your opinion about this “hot issue.” Alternatively, FAX or write using the Governor’s FAX and postal address, or use his web contact form.
Californians should also let their Assemblymember and State Senator know their opinion.
— Earl K.