About Us

CCA was founded in 1971 and is California’s only statewide organization working exclusively on air quality issues. From creating the idea for California’s original Smog Check program in 1981 to ensuring the first national ban on the toxic dry cleaning chemical “perc” to helping pass legislation to put 1 million electric vehicles on California’s roads by 2025, CCA has paved the way for socially and environmentally responsible air policy nationally and worldwide.

Today we maintain a small, dedicated staff with offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles working toward the goal of clean air throughout California.

Our Mission

Our mission is to protect public health, improve air quality, and prevent climate change.

Our Approach

Our unique collaborative model brings all interested parties together to find cooperative solutions to California’s most pressing air quality issues.

For over 45 years, we have made significant improvements to California’s air by:

  • advocating innovative policy solutions within state and federal legislative and regulatory avenues.
  • encouraging the early adoption of new technologies.
  • advising businesses on regulatory compliance and clean air practices.
  • empowering our allies with technical and policy expertise.
  • educating decision-makers and the public on air pollution solutions.

Areas of Work

California Climate Equity
Combating climate change and its effects on those who already suffer from air pollution.

Ports & Freight Transport
Cleaning up the ships, trucks and trains that bring goods to California and the nation.

Driving Clean Transportation
Advancing the cars, trucks, trains, planes and buses Californians use every day.

General Air Advocacy
Regulating air toxics, energy, and other pollution sources at the local, state and federal levels.

Recent Victories

  • Helped found the Charge Ahead California Campaign, with the goal of putting one million electric vehicles on California roads in the next decade and ensuring that low-income Californians benefit from the transition to clean transportation. Learn more on Charge Ahead and SB 1275.
  • In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown issued an important Executive Order on Freight, which will transition California to adopt zero-emission technologies in a sector responsible for 27 million metric tons of CO2 in 2012 and 6% of all Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
  • Conceived and originally sponsored SB 535 (De Léon), which requires some of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund dollars (derived from AB 32 pollution allowance auctions) to flow to disadvantaged communities to reduce pollution and provide services and jobs.
  • Successfully sued to prevent a railyard near the Port of Los Angeles from adding millions of tons of air pollution to already overburdened nearby communities.

Historic Wins

  • Won the nation’s first ban on “perc,” a toxic dry cleaning chemical containing volatile organic compounds, which create smog and threaten human health.
  • Sponsored and helped pass the “Pavley” bill (AB 1493)—the first law in the nation to reduce the greenhouse gases emitted from cars— providing the model for the first national emission standards for cars.
  • Spearheaded California’s original Smog Check program, which reduces 100 tons of automobile pollution daily.
  • Obtained an unprecedented $50 million settlement for air quality and neighborhood improvements, including agreement by the Port of Los Angeles’ China Shipping Terminal to commit nearly 75% of ships to “plug in” to an electrical dock outlet instead of running their engines.
  • Persuaded the governor to spend $50 million on cleaner school buses, the South Coast Air Quality Management District to require local agencies to purchase clean vehicles, and both the Los Angeles Unified School District and Metro to clean up their fleets.
  • Won a legal victory against major grocery chains, whose operations exposed low-income communities to toxic diesel exhaust; the settlement required large trucking distribution centers to reduce pollution at their facilities and to send health warnings in both Spanish and English to surrounding communities.

These Policies Translate Into

  • A 70% reduction in smog in the Los Angeles area since 1980.
  • More than 500,000 electric cars sold in California.
  • More than than $2 billion invested in programs to combat greenhouse gases, with $1 billion benefiting disadvantaged communities