Sacramento’s Air Quality: A Passing Grade

Post:     Sacramento Bee, Letters to the Editor, May 22, 2022

AQI PASSING GRADE

RE: “Sacramento among California cities with filthiest air in the US, new study says. What to know,” (sacbee.com, April 22)

The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2022” report does not specify that extreme but short-term impacts from wildfires cause high readings, resulting in a misleading picture of Sacramento’s air quality. Air quality and public health are absolutely impacted by wildfires, but to assign an “F” grade without naming the reason unnecessarily undermines public confidence and denies true progress tackling air and climate pollution. Thanks to innovative initiatives by the Sac Metro Air District and our regional partners and stringent rules and regulations, air quality in Sacramento (minus wildfires) has improved significantly over the past several decades and will continue to improve. Our region has made great strides in moving toward meeting strict health-based ambient air quality standards. That is no small feat for the public and private sectors and certainly worth a passing grade.

Dr. Alberto Ayala, Sacramento

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article261627617.html#storylink=cpy

CA Air Resources Board 2022 Scoping Plan Update

The 2022 Scoping Plan Update assesses progress toward the statutory 2030 target, while laying out a path to achieving carbon neutrality no later than 2045. The 2022 Scoping Plan Update focuses on outcomes needed to achieve carbon neutrality by assessing paths for clean technology, energy deployment, natural and working lands, and others, and is designed to meet the State’s long-term climate objectives and support a range of economic, environmental, energy security, environmental justice, and public health priorities.

Click here to learn more.

Sacramento and smog: Your role in it, health risks and why it’s worse in the summer

By Brianna Taylor | May 9, 2022 | The Sacramento Bee

The list of health risks associated with ground-level ozone is a long one.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ground-level ozone is linked to diminished lung function, causing more hospital admissions and emergency room visits, and an increase in premature deaths. “The problem with ground-level ozone is that it causes inflammation in our airways, our trachea, in our sinuses and in our lungs,” Easter said. “The lung issue is probably the biggest of the issues because that affects our breathing and causes asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory impairments.”

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/environment/article261073407.html#storylink=cpy

Sacramento among California cities with filthiest air in the US, new study says. What to know

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.

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article260636232.html#storylink=cpy

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

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article260876367.html#storylink=cpy

Big Day of Giving 2022

ECOS: Through education, advocacy, and litigation, we seek to help the Sacramento region meet its climate goals and shift its land use and transportation patterns to create a transit-connected network of sustainable, sociable, affordable, and equitable communities.

The Environmental Council of Sacramento is a powerful advocacy organization in the Sacramento region for over 50 years, arguing for transit-oriented development and against greenfield sprawl, to protect our habitat, and clean up our air. With the climate crisis growing and affordable housing a critical need, our advocacy efforts are needed more than ever. Please donate and join. Make a difference with us!

Can we count on you?

Big Day of Giving, the Sacramento region’s largest annual event to support the causes we care most about, is on now. Between now and May 5, please give to ECOS.

Big Day of Giving helps non-profits like ECOS raise much needed funds — mostly in small gifts — proving that when we all give a little, we can make a big difference.

For as little as $40, you can help us reach our fundraising goal of $10,000 which will allow us to continue studying and taking positions on regional and local issues — climate change, land use, transportation, green building, habitat, and water. Also, your gift will help ECOS build its next generation of leaders – we seek young people who recognize the dangers of climate change and want to do something about it.

Make a gift today or mark your calendar for Thursday, May 5 to be a part of this historic day of philanthropy.

Check out some of our activities

  • ECOS Orientation via Zoom on May 5 at 6 pm; contact office[at]sacramento[dot]net
  • Sacramento Earth Day on April 24 – https://www.ecosacramento.net/sacearthday/
  • SacCounty District 5 Candidate Forum on April 26 – https://youtu.be/EFvJfZEY3oo
  • Climate Action materials and Committee Chair Ralph Propper rpropper47[at]icloud[dot]com
  • Field trips – salmon spawning habitat in American River; sandhill cranes at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve in Oct 2021 and Jan 2022.

MAKE A GIFT to ECOS for the BIG DAY OF GIVING

A deep dive on the health impacts of air pollution

This blog takes a deep dive into the vast array of impacts that air pollution has on human health, exploring how poor air quality affects nearly every area of the human body — from head to toe. Research shows that air pollution is a major environmental risk factor for a slew of diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease to lung cancer to osteoporosis, and can significantly lower lifespan and quality of life. Air pollution accounts for extensive damages to public health, as well as vast economic losses due to healthcare costs and lost school and workdays. While air pollution exposure can impact everyone, its damage is not distributed equally. Children, elderly individuals, those with pre-existing conditions, and those living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods or environmental justice communities bear a disproportionate burden of its impacts — emphasizing the need to protect vulnerable populations by taking better care of our air quality.

Click here to view the article.