California Air Resources Board Takes Action to Protect Public Health from Indoor Air Pollution from Gas


November 19, 2020

Contact: Kathryn Phillips--916-893-8494 (mobile)

California Air Resources Board Takes Action to Protect Public Health from Indoor Air Pollution from Gas

SACRAMENTO—The California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state agency responsible for guiding and developing regulations to reduce air pollution and protect public health, today adopted a resolution laying out actions to more proactively address hazardous air pollution indoors.

 The resolution followed a presentation by CARB staff of accumulated research that demonstrates that gas appliances create health-threatening air pollution indoors. At times, indoor pollution from gas appliances can reach levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide that violates state and federal air pollution standards for safe outdoor air.

 The resolution instructs the air board staff to continue supporting strong updates to the building and appliance codes under consideration at the California Energy Commission (CEC). The CEC is currently considering whether to require that all new buildings permitted in 2023 and later be all electric, thus removing harmful, dangerous and expensive gas hookups to future buildings.

The resolution also calls for the staff to develop model rules for local air districts to better protect indoor air quality. And the resolution calls for staff to work to understand effects on vulnerable and disadvantaged populations of indoor air pollution and effective education and incentives to reduce impacts on those populations. The staff is also instructed to develop air quality guidance documents to help reduce the effects of indoor air pollution during wildfire events.

Statement of Kathryn Phillips, Director of Sierra Club California:

 “The air board’s action today is a great step to help end unnecessary exposure to gas pollution. It is especially appropriate for the board to take this action now, while so many of us are spending more time inside because of COVID.

 “The next essential step is for the California Energy Commission to make sure its 2022 building code protects public health. That commission can make sure that new buildings permitted after 2023 rely on safer, cheaper electricity to run appliances. The fossil fuel sellers seem determined to persuade the Newsom administration to stop short of real climate and health protection via the forthcoming codes. This round of building codes is proving to be a test of where the governor’s allegiances lie.”


Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the 13 Sierra Club chapters in California, representing more than 500,000 members and supporters statewide.