Governing Board

South Coast AQMD's Governing Board adopts policies and regulations that promote clean air within its four-county area, the smoggiest in the nation. Federal and state law require that South Coast AQMD achieve clean air standards to protect public health. Before it makes decisions that affect local residents and businesses, South Coast AQMD must consider ideas and comments from the public. The opportunity to comment begins in public workshops and ends with a public hearing by the Governing Board where anyone can testify or present written comments. The Board usually meets at South Coast AQMD's Diamond Bar headquarters on the first Friday of each month.

Who serves on the Governing Board?

The Board has 13 members. Ten are elected officials. Of these, four are county supervisors representing Los AngelesOrangeRiverside and San Bernardino counties, elected to South Coast AQMD's Board by their Boards of Supervisors. Six are City Council members representing the cities in each county (because of its size, Los Angeles County has two representatives, elected by respective city selection committees, and the City of Los Angeles has one representative, selected by the Mayor of Los Angeles). The remaining three Board members are appointed by state elected officials; one by the Governor of California, one by the Speaker of the State Assembly and one by the State Senate Rules Committee.

Why are procedures necessary?

Government agencies like South Coast AQMD must create an accurate public record of how they conduct the public's business. Documenting the process is necessary to ensure public participation, fairness and an accurate account to which you and other interested parties can refer to in the future. Holding public workshops, recording oral and written comments, responding to those comments, publishing proposed rules and related reports, holding public hearings and voting publicly are all based on set procedures -- the building blocks of effective decision-making.

What happens at Board meetings?

Board Members discuss ways to improve air quality and establish effective clean air programs. The Board receives reports from South Coast AQMD's Executive Officer and staff who recommend new rules or rule amendments to help reduce air pollution. The Board also hears public testimony. After a public hearing, the Board may vote to adopt a rule as proposed or with changes. In some cases the Board may postpone a decision and instruct South Coast AQMD staff to develop a new proposal. In addition, the Board approves contracts, policies and various reports. The Board may also act on budget requests and personnel matters.

Agenda items that involve relatively simple administrative decisions are grouped in the "Consent Calendar". Board Members and members of the public may comment on any individual item on the consent calendar. When discussion is completed, the Board may vote on the consent calendar as a whole.

Also during meetings, Board Members report on activities of various committees set up to explore specific issues. Standing Board committees include Administrative, Legislative, Mobile Source, Stationary Source and Technology. Additional committees serve as advisory bodies to the Board. These include the Home Rule Advisory,  Enviromental Justice Advisory, Local Government & Small Business Assistance Advisory groups and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee. These reports are included under the "Board Calendar" section of the agenda.

Additional agenda sections may include Public Hearings, Other Business, a Public Comment Period and Closed Session.

Where you fit in

The public is very much a part of the Board meeting. Public workshops held weeks before the Board meeting give you the opportunity to learn about proposed rules and major policies. Written reports on rules or policies are available before Board meetings. Anyone can testify on any item pending before the Board, but it is best to prepare testimony in advance. You can also bring up new issues during the public comment period scheduled towards the end of each Board meeting. (Please note that while the Governing Board generally will consider items in the order listed on the agenda, items may be considered in any order.)

Off the record communication

If a Board Member receives information off the record and it influences the Member's decisions about a proposed rule, the Board Member must put that information on the record. If that information could substantially influence the Board's vote and was not available to the public before the close of public testimony, the hearing must be reopened to allow public comment on the new information.

How to provide comments at meetings

Persons wishing to address the Board must fill out a "Request to Address the Board" form electronically on the kiosks available outside of the auditorium and select which agenda item(s) they would like to comment on.  Once the Board Chairman calls for public comment on each item speakers should make their way to a vacant microphone when they see their name reach the top of the list on the display.  Once the Chairman recognizes you, you may begin your comments by stating your name for the record.  If there are vacant seats, you may sit at the front of the auditorium near the microphones so you will be ready to testify. Speakers will be limited to a total time of three (3) minutes for the Consent Calendar and Board Calendar and three (3) minutes or less for other agenda items. The Chairman may give more time if the issue is complex or if you represent a large group.

Written comments will be accepted by the Board and made part of the record, provided 25 copies are presented to the Clerk of the Board.  Electronic submittals to of 10 pages or less including attachments, in MS WORD, PDF, plain or HTML format will also be accepted by the Board and made part of the record if received before the meeting begins. Each Board Member will receive a copy of the comments if provided in advance of your testimony. (Faxes are not accepted.)

After all testimony on a proposed rule has been heard, the Board Chairman closes the public hearing.  Board Members then discuss the issue and, in most cases, take a vote on the item.

Safe seating

Be seated when the meeting is called to order. Fire laws prohibit standing in the aisles or the back of the room. If the auditorium is full, nearby "overflow" rooms will be setup where you can sit and watch the Board meeting on video. If you have asked to address the Board, watch for your name to be displayed on the screen and then move quickly to the auditorium.

Continuances and changes

Due to intense public interest and lengthy testimony, the Board may choose to continue its discussion of an agenda item at its next meeting.

If significant changes are made to a proposed rule or rule amendment after public notice has been issued, the Board can hear public comment on the rule at the noticed hearing but cannot take action on the changed text. The Board must publicly summarize the text changes and continue the hearing to its next regular meeting or later. At the continued hearing, the Board must allow public testimony on the new text before taking final action.

In judging whether a text change significantly affects the meaning of a rule, the Board considers its impact on emission reductions and regulated facilities, the content of the original public notice and the possible alternatives.

Auditorium dos & don'ts

  • South Coast AQMD's auditorium is equipped with a state-of-the art video system (video wall, projectors, etc.), advanced sound system (microphones, amplifiers, speakers, etc.), and audio/video recording capability. 

  • Megaphones, bullhorns and costumes are not allowed in the auditorium.


Board meetings can also be viewed via webcast while a meeting is in progress or thereafter.

How you can get help

For more information about South Coast AQMD's Governing Board, contact the Clerk of the Board's Office at (909) 396-2500.

Board meeting agendas and public notices are posted on the bulletin board located near the main entrance at South Coast AQMD headquarters.  Proposed rules and amendments, staff reports and other documents are usually available at the lobby Public Information Center. These documents as well as Board meeting minutes can be accessed on South Coast AQMD's website. If you require assistance in accessing these documents email the Clerk of the Board or call (909) 396-2500. 

Contact for information on the board members and procedures
Clerk of the Board
(909) 396-2500
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South Coast Air Quality Management District

21865 Copley Dr, Diamond Bar, CA 91765



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