Breathe Southern California’s sponsored legislation, AB 619, has been signed into law by Governor Newsom! AB 619, authored by Assemblymember Lisa Calderon, will improve public health for all Southern California residents, particularly as it pertains to wildfire smoke.
AB 619 requires the California Department of Public Health to develop recommendations and guidelines for counties to use in establishing plans to address significant air pollution events, primarily those caused by wildfires. County plans would need to establish policies and procedures regarding air filtration masks and other protective equipment and how a county informs its residents about unhealthy air quality. The development of plans would involve consultation with key stakeholders, including government agencies, medical professionals, and nonprofit organizations.
Due to climate change, wildfires are becoming more common and more extreme, and the intensifying drought is a looming threat to the severity of future wildfires. As a result, fire season in California is starting earlier and ending later.