California set to be first state with extreme heat warning system under bills signed by Newsom
The first state to have its heat warning system connected to air regulators
California set to be the first state to have the extreme heat warning system connected to air regulators
State leaders have signed bills into law that will set the state up as the first to be connected to a system that could alert residents to approaching danger points during the heat of summer.
The legislation was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in his annual State of the State address on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 1528 requires air quality agencies to prepare for a potentially severe summer without the threat of greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires that the state use data available on the internet to create heat maps to show which areas face a greater risk of high temperatures.
Other states, such as Texas, have gone further and connected their air quality agencies to systems that alert to potential heat warnings, giving them the ability to better prepare their communities.
The California State Air Resources Board was one of the first state agencies to sign a contract with San Diego Gas and Electric Co. to integrate its computer technology with air quality data, which is currently available on the internet.
The California Air Resources Board expects to begin making a $5 million investment in its pilot program by the end of the year, according to the state Board of Equalization.
But the California system, called CALIPSO, needs to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, to be fully operational by 2012.
“When we signed this bill, it was a great day because it establishes a statewide air quality program for the first time in the state of California,” said Jerry Brown in his State of the State address, according to the Associated Press.
“It will help our state to know what areas are most at risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths and to provide better health information for those most vulnerable to the heat in our state,” Brown said.
The system, which is being designed by a team of researchers at UC San Diego as part of their doctorates, has already been approved to monitor several Southern California locations as part of a pilot project to provide real-time data on air quality in