By Brianna Taylor | April 22, 2022 | The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento has some of the filthiest air, according to a new air quality study. The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2022” is based on the data of air quality throughout the United States, obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System. The study focuses on the years 2018 to 2020. According to the 155-page air quality report, the area ranked No. 7 out “25 Cites Most Polluted by Daily Particulate Matter.” The 11 other state cities ranked include: Fresno, No. 1, Bakersfield, No. 2, San Jose, No. 4, Redding, No. 5, Chico, No. 6, Los Angeles, No. 8, Visalia, No. 9, San Diego, No. 13, Salinas, No. 14 and San Luis Obispo, No. 22.
We suggest you also read a letter to The Sacramento Bee written by 2021 Environmentalist of the Year Anne Stausbol, written in response to this article.
Kudos to The Bee for bringing attention to Sacramento’s ranking, once again, as one of the country’s regions with the worst air pollution. The American Lung Association report also shows that we rank ninth worst for ozone pollution. Both particulate and ozone pollution have serious health impacts, especially for vulnerable populations. The report tells us the first thing local governments must do is adopt a climate action plan that supports walking, biking, transit and zero-emission-vehicle infrastructure, with supportive building and parking policies. The Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change made this exact recommendation to the City Council in June 2020. Yet almost two years later, the city has not produced its climate action plan. How can our leaders allow Sacramento to remain on this list year after year? The city must act now to address this public health crisis by enacting a plan that embraces and funds our recommendations.– Anne Stausboll, Sacramento