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News Posted on February 24, 2017

Professor Frank Testifies Before California Senate Committee on Environmental Quality

On February 22, Professor of Environmental Practice Richard Frank ’74 testified before the California State Senate Committee on Environmental Quality on the topic, “The Federal Clean Air Act: California’s Waivers—A Half-Century of Cooperative Federalism in Air Quality Management.” 

As the hearing’s leadoff witness, Professor Frank was invited to provide a historical overview of California’s unique authority—conferred by Congress under section 209 of the federal Clean Air Act—to enact air emission limits for motor vehicles more stringent than those adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the rest of the nation. 

Frank’s testimony focused on the historical reasons why Congress granted California this unique authority; how that authority has been exercised over the past 50 years; and whether California’s power to adopt such specific, stringent air pollution control limits—an authority fostered by both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations since 1967—may be limited under the new Trump Administration.  Also testifying at the February 22 State Senate hearing were Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon; state and regional air regulators; and a panel of public health officials.

Frank is a leader in the field of environmental law and the founding Director of the California Environmental Law and Policy Center at UC Davis School of Law.