Garcetti appoints Councilwoman Nithya Raman to air quality board
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman has been appointed to replace Councilman Joe Buscaino on the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday.
“She is a true environmentalist who will bring her passion and experience. She is laser-focused on our climate and public health priorities, and is a great addition to this board,” Garcetti said.
The board — which adopts policies and regulations aimed at promoting clean air in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties — includes 13 members, 10 of whom are elected officials. Raman will be the city’s only representative.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve on the AQMD Board — one of the most critical tools we have in Los Angeles for mitigating the effects of climate change,” Raman said. “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues on the Board to work to ensure that everyone in the South Coast region has healthy, clean air to breathe and that our ports become models for 21st century shipping that center environmental sustainability and environmental justice in their operations.”
The agency is tasked by the state and federal government with achieving clean air standards to comply with standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Clean Air Act and California’s Clean Air Act.
The Coalition for Clean Air celebrated Raman’s appointment.
“Millions of Southern Californians, especially those in marginalized communities, breathe air that fails to meet national and state air quality standards,” the coalition’s Deputy Policy Director Chris Chavez said. “Despite this, getting SCAQMD to pass even the most basic air pollution protections often becomes a years-long arduous fight.
“Mayor Garcetti has taken a significant and important step towards protecting public health and improving California’s air quality,” Chavez continued. “We have the utmost confidence in Councilmember Raman’s commitment to clean air. This is a good day for those of us living in the smoggiest air basin in the country.”
Raman will replace Buscaino, who joined the board in 2013.
“Thank you, Joe, for your dedication over the years to achieving clean air for the communities of Los Angeles,” Garcetti tweeted Tuesday.
Buscaino said Tuesday that it was an honor to serve on the board the last nine years.
“SCAQMD represents over 40% of all Californians and I am proud of all that we have accomplished to improve the lives of residents from Palmdale to the ports to the Coachella Valley. During my time on the board, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in clean technology, grants, and truck programs and have pushed the limits of compliance with new rules that ensure industries are using the best available technology while also creating and sustaining jobs,” said Buscaino, who is serving his last year on the City Council.
“As my time on the LA City Council comes to an end, it is necessary that a new appointee take my place, but I look forward to watching our progress continue to make our region greener and healthier and to create the first zero-emissions Port in the U.S.,” he added.