Mayor Garcetti Calls New Nominee To AQMD Board An 'Ardent Environmentalist'
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will nominate City Council member Nithya Raman to the South Coast Air Quality Management Districtgoverning board.
Garcetti said Raman, who represents District 4, has worked closely with environmental groups, labor unions and local community groups.
"She's an ardent environmentalist, reflects the values that I think we all want to see in a cleaner, Southern California that pollutes less, that threatens us less," Garcetti said.
One of her top priorities: reducing emissions at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.
Raman conceded that will be a "really big lift."
She said she's excited about her role on the governing board.
"We're at a turning point right now in addressing climate change," Raman said, adding she believed the AQMD board has to do more to improve air quality around the ports.
Raman acknowledged that those changes may affect workers — at all stages of the supply chain — who may need resources to make the transition toward more clean energy and maintain their livelihood.
Critics of Garcetti's current appointee to the AQMD board — City Councilmember Joe Buscaino — say he's opposed some efforts to fight pollution. Buscaino's term on the board expired earlier this month.
In a statement, Buscaino — who is running for mayor in this year's election — argues federal law limits what the board can do, but it has "pushed the limits of compliance with new rules that ensure industries are using the best available technology while also creating ... good-paying jobs."