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