Governor Signs California ‘Super Pollutants' Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill imposing what he call the country's toughest restrictions on certain pollutants.

Taking another step in the fight against climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill with new restrictions on super pollutants Monday in Long Beach.

Super pollutants like black carbon and methane trap more heat than carbon dioxide but stay in the atmosphere for a shorter time. Reducing super pollutant levels can have a more immediate impact on climate change, he said during the signing event in Long Beach.

"Cutting black carbon and other super pollutants is the critical next step in our program to combat climate change," Brown said. "This bill curbs dangerous pollutants and thereby protects public health and slows climate change."

The new legislation establishes the country’s toughest restrictions on these pollutants. The law mandates a 50 percent reduction in black carbon and 40 percent reduction in methane and hydrofluorocarbon from 2013 levels by 2030.

The pollutants are generated by sources including waste-disposal, petroleum-based fuel, agriculture and synthetic gases used in refrigeration, air conditioning and aerosol products.

The National Federation of Independent Business criticized the legislation, with the organization's state director Tom Scott saying it creates an inconsistent policy that will "further increase the cost of doing business in California," particularly for the agricultural industry.

The mandated reductions represent "a direct assault on California's dairy industry and will hurt manufacturing by creating an arbitrary limit on natural gases which dissipate quickly," he said.

The signing comes just weeks after Brown extended by 10 years another climate change law which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The expanded law set a new target for 2030.

The bill signing also coincides with the start of Climate Week in New York City and the first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly since the Climate Change Conference in Paris last December.

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