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A Victory for Clean Air

By Jeshow Yang

The Clean Air SGV Campaign recently scored a victory this past month. Our stakeholder working group pushed forward with passing the Permit Streamlining Ordinance for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) in Alhambra. Twelve APIFM staff and stakeholder group members who live in the community offered written and public comments when the ordinance was introduced at the December 14 meeting.

“My family, in fact, purchased a plug-in hybrid recently. We don’t have many places to charge it. We currently must charge it at home… Having easier access to charging stations would make it easier for me and my neighbors”

– Connie Ho, one of our stakeholders who spoke at the Alhambra City Council meeting.

This Ordinance expedites the process to install EVCS within the City. Permit streamlining for EVCS provides Alhambra with the potential for cleaner air by decreasing the cost of charging stations. 

As of March 9th, 2020, only 15.5% of California has fully streamlined its EVCS permitting. Within the Southern California Association of Governments, only 12.2% of its local jurisdictions have fully streamlined their EVCS permitting process. Ordinances like this prepare us for Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20. This Executive Order requires 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035.

Alhambra is now part of the jurisdictions that comply with AB 1236 (2015), the state law for permit streamlining on EVCS, and will now be among the few streamlined local jurisdictions in the Zero Emission Vehicle Streamlining Olympics.

Permit streamlining is only part of the solution to decreasing emissions for toxic air pollutants. The Bobcat and El Dorado Fires indicated the increased need for our local jurisdictions to put environmental justice as their top priority. But with improved air quality during the COVID-19 lockdown, we have seen a glimpse of cleaner air if we were to drive more zero-emission vehicles and utilize alternative modes of transportation. 

Our work could not have been possible without our community leaders from our stakeholder working group. Their dedication to providing feedback on potential policies and willingness to provide public comment at City Hall led to our success. We look forward to continuing our work with the City’s residents, council members, and City staff to enact environmental justice initiatives.

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