Gov. Brown signs 1st-of-its-kind bill aimed at air pollution

BELL GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- Gov. Jerry Brown was in Bell Gardens Wednesday to focus on one of the biggest problems in the area - air pollution.

Brown signed AB617, which imposes stricter penalties on polluters and increases monitoring of air-quality, especially in some of the most polluted areas in the city.

"All this poison is also the basis of our prosperity, and that's the dark paradox of modernity. We get the goodies, but we get the poison with it," Brown said.

With our busy ports and packed freeways contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country, lawmakers said this bill will help all Californians.

The bill signing follows Tuesday's signing, with the extension of the state's cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases and provides incentives to reduce carbon emissions.

Protesters gathered outside the bill signing ceremony, saying AB617 doesn't do enough to help those most at risk.

The governor celebrated the state's effort to fight global warming by climbing aboard a green bus at Proterra. The company's new West Coast manufacturing facility in the City of Industry produces zero-emission battery electric buses. It's the ride of the future, according to lawmakers.

AB617 establishes a comprehensive statewide program to address air pollution. It's the first-of-its-kind in the nation.
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