California Clean Air Luminaries Gather to Celebrate Architect of Clean Air Act

Friends, Family and Colleagues of Leon Billings to celebrate legacy of visionary Clean Air Act architect

A photo of Leon Billings

The late Leon Billings was a visionary architect of the Clean Air Act.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) —The University of California, Riverside and the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) will host a public forum on Friday, May 12th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to honor the late Leon Billings, visionary architect of the Clean Air Act. The forum will be held at the Bourns Technology Center, 1200 Columbia Ave, Riverside, CA 92507. Parking for the event is free and those wishing to attend should RSVP to Kathy Vang at kathyv@engr.ucr.edu.

As a top aide for Senator Edmund Muskie, Billings was a primary author of the 1970 Clean Air Act and helped shape California’s unique authority, which authorizes it as the only state in the nation able to adopt and enforce its own motor vehicle emission standards after first obtaining a waiver from the U.S. EPA. This important provision has allowed California to lead the nation and the world in cleaning up vehicle pollution and driving technological innovation.

The program will highlight stories from close colleagues of Billings recalling how the legislation was crafted from the ground up, much of which took place right here in Southern California.

Panelists will discuss the impact this and other legislation adopted by the State of California had on improving our local air quality, and its cascading impact on the entire nation and world. The event will conclude with comments on the work we have ahead, including protecting the California waiver and continued progress towards clean air and climate change.

Speakers and special guests include:

  • Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board Chair
  • Tom Jorling, Former Minority Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Public Works
  • Paul Billings, National Senior Vice President, American Lung Association
  • Jerry Lewis, Former Congressman, California’s 41st district (invited)
  • Ron Loveridge, UCR Center for Sustainable Suburban Development Director, former CARB Board Member, former Mayor of Riverside
  • V. John White, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies Executive Director
  • Alan Lloyd, Former Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency, former Chairman, California Air Resources Board
  • James Lents, President, International Sustainable Systems Research Center, former South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Officer
  • Michael P. Walsh, President, WalshCarLines, former Director US EPA Office of Mobile Source Air Pollution Control
  • Barry Wallerstein, UCR Senior Policy Fellow, former South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Officer

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-4580
E-mail: sarah.nightingale@ucr.edu
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