Air Quality Politics Shakeup

On Friday, the Republican-controlled board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District fired its longtime executive director, Barry Wallerstein. He was seen as too tough on industry. The South Coast AQMD is responsible for setting air pollution policy across much of southern California, affecting nearly half of the state’s population. The board had been controlled by Democrats for many years, but that changed in November. Friday’s decision to dismiss Barry Wallerstein was a straight party-line vote, 7-6.