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AQMD clean air plan includes proposal to hike vehicle registration fees to pay for smog-reduction programs




A view of the Los Angeles city skyline as heavy smog shrouds the city in California on May 31, 2015.
A view of the Los Angeles city skyline as heavy smog shrouds the city in California on May 31, 2015.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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Local smog regulators are considering a major increase in vehicle registration fees.

The money would be used to fund incentives targeting the region's largest polluters. The increase is just one possibility being considered to raise the money the South Coast Air Quality Management District says it needs to meet mandated emissions cuts. According to Wayne Nastri, acting executive officer for the AQMD, raising registration fees for drivers in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties by $30 would raise $300 million a year for smog-cutting programs.

The AQMD released a draft of their full plan back in June, and it could be up for a vote in front of the agency board as soon as December. It’s based on finding $1 billion a year to fund incentive programs to cut emissions and puts an emphasis on incentivizing would-be polluters to cut emissions rather than forcing them through regulations. How much more a year would you be willing to pay, if anything, for each of your cars each year?

Guests:

Philip Fine, a deputy executive officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District

Adrian Martinez, staff attorney at the environmental law firm, EarthJustice