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Clean-air heroes recognized
California hails contributions made by three leaders
Sacramento - Today the Air Resources Board announced the winners of the 2009 Haagen-Smit Clean Air awards, an annual celebration to recognize outstanding efforts by individuals who protect California’s air.
The 2009 award recipients are:
- Dr. Timothy Johnson, Corning Incorporated – Dr. Johnson is an expert and frequent speaker on diesel-emission control technology and trends and was made an SAE (Society of Automobile Engineers) International Fellow in 2008. He was instrumental in the development of the National Clean Diesel Program which is successfully controlling pollutants from millions of legacy diesel engines operating across the United States. He is currently the co-chair for the U.S. EPA’s Advisory Working Group on Diesel Emission Control Retrofits. Dr. Johnson is also a member of the U.S. EPA Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, and the U.S. EPA Mobile Source Technical Review Subcommittee. Formerly he served on the California Air Resources Board’s International Diesel Retrofit Advisory Committee. He recently edited the book, “Diesel Filter Technology”, published by SAE International.
- Ms. Margo Oge, U.S. EPA – Ms. Oge has been with the U.S. EPA since 1980 and made tremendous contributions to the area of environmental policy. Under her leadership the U.S. EPA finalized three of the nation’s most significant environmental accomplishments: the clean Tier 2 motor vehicle and Gasoline Sulfur Program; the historic 2007 diesel truck, buses and diesel fuel rule; and, the recently finalized clean off-road diesel program. These programs reduce more than 90% of the harmful pollutants emitted from cars, trucks, buses, construction, farming and industrial equipment and gasoline and diesel fuel. As a result these three rules alone are estimated to prevent more than 22,000 premature deaths and thousands of respiratory illnesses.
- Dr. John Peters, University of Southern California –Dr. Peters is a leader in the area of environmental health research. Dr. Peters is the Hastings Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and Director of the Division of Environmental Health in the Department of Preventive Medicine. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in UCLA’s School of Public Health. In his over 40 year career, Dr. Peters has published over 150 research papers, reports and chapters on subjects such as the health effects of air pollution, vinyl chloride and other chemicals in both the work and general environment. He is the principal investigator of the Children's Health Study, a landmark epidemiologic investigation to identify chronic health effects from exposure to air pollution in Southern California communities, which has followed 11,000 children, for periods as long as 13 years.
ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols with Dr. Timothy Johnson
ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols with Ms Margo Oge
“These three individuals exemplify the kind of concerted effort needed to clean California’s air,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “Today we have the opportunity to thank them for their service to public health.”
The awards are named after Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smit, ARB’s first chairman and known by many as the "father" of air pollution controls. Through a series of experiments beginning in 1948, he found that most of California's smog results from photochemistry: sunlight affects the exhaust of vehicles and industry to create ozone.
For his discoveries, Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit received the National Medal of Science in the Physical Sciences on October 10, 1973 from President Richard Nixon.
Dr. Haagen-Smit’s breakthroughs gave us the needed inroads to combat smog, created the foundation for today's air pollution standards and allow us to now enjoy the cleanest air in California in more than fifty years.
ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.