State air pollution officers release new report
The California Air Pollution Control Officers’ Association (CAPCOA), a statewide organization of local air quality agencies, has released the 2015 California Progress Toward Clean Air report.
The report compiles air quality data, progress and initiatives from the 35 local air districts throughout California in 2014.
The report provides information useful to city, county and state planners as well as businesses and the general public.
It also addresses the continuing air quality challenges that California faces and presents air quality data in an accessible format, helping the public understand how statewide air has improved over time.
California’s Progress Toward Clean Air is available for download at capcoa.org.
Or visit the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District’s webpage at http://www.myairdistrict.com.
The report shows that since 1990, California’s population has increased by 29 percent, the number of vehicles on California roads has increased by 32 percent, and the economy has grown by 83 percent, yet statewide emissions of smog-forming pollutants have decreased by over 50 percent.
Multiple studies have shown that the benefits of air pollution measures implemented over the years far exceed the cost of implementing such measures.
While there is an ongoing trend of air quality improvement across the state, the challenges ahead seem daunting: California’s drought has significantly impacted levels of fine particles known as PM 2.5; climate change threatens to undo years of clean air progress; and medical research indicates the health effects of air pollution have been previously underestimated.
As a result, the federal government has recently proposed to strengthen the health-based standard for ground level ozone, a principal component of summertime smog.
Achieving this more health protective standard will require further reductions of smog-forming pollutants on top of regulations that are already among the strongest in the nation.
The 68-page report contains detailed information on the state’s clean-air progress and challenges, data on 2014 levels of ozone and PM2.5 around the state and descriptions of air pollution control programs at the state’s air districts.
Gretchen Bennitt, Air Pollution Control Officer of Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District said, “The report demonstrates that western Nevada County has experienced dramatic improvements in ozone in the last few years. Eastern Nevada County has improved greatly in PM2.5 over the past 15 years due to the proactive efforts of the town of Truckee.”
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