The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Act was enacted in 1979 by Assembly Bill 1312, authored by Assemblyman Howard Berman. Since it became law, it has provided the means to preserve over 60,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and urban settings, and improve more than 114 public recreational facilities in the Santa Monica Mountains.
When development threatened Franklin Canyon, Congressman Howard Berman teamed up with conservationist Sooky Goldman to get the DWP and the National Park Service (NPS) to make Franklin Canyon a park. Now there is a Berman Trail and a Sooky Goldman Nature Center. He also led a successful fight to prevent the building of 26 luxury homes in Fryman Canyon.
Howard works every year with the Los Angeles County Congressional delegation to secure federal funding for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan including priority areas of Tujunga Wash and Sun Valley Watershed, and to secure drinking water supply, recreational access, and economic opportunities relating to the Los Angeles River and watershed.
He strongly supports protecting national wild lands from development and exploitation, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. He worked with the National Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and others to lead Congressional opposition to an FY 2008 Interior-Environment rider that would have restricted the ability of the public to file legal challenges to protect the Tongass forest land management.
In the early 1990′s, Howard initiated the creation of CALSTART, a California non-profit that encourages growth in Southern California's clean transportation technology industry. CALSTART focuses on transportation solutions that address urban air quality, energy security, and climate change and has been instrumental in advancing technologies that include electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, biofuels, and hydrogen fuel cells.
He is a cosponsor of legislation to establish rigorous new requirements for corporate average fuel economy standards, renewable energy standards for utility company portfolios, and other proven methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on dirty fuels.
Howard strongly supports efforts to protect California's coastline, including opposing oil and gas lease sales and off-shore oil drilling along California's coastline, and establishing a no discharge zone for discharges from cruise ships and large ocean-going vessels.
He authored a law which eliminates the tariff on reusable polypropylene grocery and shopping bags, which was enacted as part of the Miscellaneous Tariffs Bill of 2009 (the material is not produced by a domestic supplier). The Berman provision has contributed to keeping costs low on this commonly-found type of reusable bag.
Howard supports robust enforcement of the country's key environmental protection laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and Superfund.