LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Friday, January 2, 2004
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Guarding the air -- and our need for growth
Editor -- The article "Clear skies and political will" (Tom Turner, Open Forum, Dec. 29) underscores how crucial it is for Bay Area businesses, governments and residents to remain diligent in our pursuit of clean air.
The Bay Area is a leader in meeting air-quality standards thanks to aggressive programs to reduce industrial and motor-vehicle emissions. The region is the largest metropolitan area in the country to meet the one-hour federal standard for summertime ozone pollution. But we violate the new federal eight-hour ozone standard, and more stringent state air standards set to protect public health.
This year represents a tremendous opportunity to further reduce emissions, improve air quality and protect area residents while accommodating increasing growth and economic activity.
At the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, we will propose a new Clean Air Plan in 2004, with additional measures to further reduce air pollution. Our directors will consider several new rules to reduce emissions at refineries. We will support regional initiatives to accommodate growth in an environmentally friendly way, promoting infill development in cities and livable communities where residents can walk, bike and take transit.
The air district and the California Air Resources Board plan a joint effort to reduce particulate matter. We can reduce this pollutant in our neighborhoods by eliminating wood-burning in fireplaces and woodstoves.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District