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newsrel -- SJV clean air efforts paying off

Posted: 24 Sep 2007 13:12:37
Please consider the following Air Resources Board press release
announcing new measures to address the air quality in the San
Joaquin Valley.  You can review the release online at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr092407.htm .
Thank You 
Dimitri Stanich


Release 07-38
September 24, 2007
Patricia Rey
(916) 322-2990 

San Joaquin Valley's clean air efforts paying off

ARB to propose comprehensive measures to deliver cleaner air

FRESNO - Leading up to this week's hearing on the State
Implementation Plan, the Air Resources Board today announced an
expedited strategy to reduce ozone in the Central Valley 90
percent by 2018.

"Today's recommendations for an expedited process shows that we
heard the Valley residents' call for cleaner air, faster," said
ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "After four meetings with
stakeholders from Arvin to Fresno since June, we feel we have an
aggressive new approach to a longtime problem. We want
communities in the San Joaquin Valley to know that we take their
air quality seriously and have renewed our efforts to identifying
as many new emission reductions as we can, as soon as we can."

At the hearing this past June in Fresno, the Board thoroughly
discussed the air quality challenges of meeting the federal
8-hour ozone standard in the San Joaquin Valley. Since then, ARB
staff has held two community meetings and two San Joaquin Valley
Task Force meetings to solicit new ideas on further emissions

With the critical input from the stakeholder process, ARB staff
is proposing several measures in the coming year, including
regulations for diesel trucks and agricultural equipment, that
will yield an additional reduction of 26 to 31 tons of oxides of
nitrate (NOx), a major contributor to ozone. This ambitious goal
will be accomplished by using a variety of state tools and
relying on local and federal regulators to contribute as well.
Specifically, ARB is proposing to:

    * Substantially strengthen an already existing proposal to
clean up diesel trucks;
    * Work with the agricultural community to clean up emissions
from farm equipment such as tractors; and
    * Partner with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District to accelerate the timeline of the recently passed
off-road construction rules by offering financial incentives to
Valley businesses aimed at getting older, dirtier engines
retrofitted or replaced. 

The ARB will also allocate $1 billion in the next few years in
Proposition 1B bond funding for statewide projects which San
Joaquin Valley agencies can apply for and use to fund local
projects aimed at reducing harmful emissions coming from goods
movement-related, i.e., trucks and railroads. This year, the
budget fund $250 million of the $1 billion set aside for
emission reduction projects.

Additionally, ARB has recently instituted several regulations
that will help clean Central Valley air, including the
introduction of ultra low sulfur diesel and the passage of the
country's first regulations addressing diesel emissions from
off-road construction equipment such as tractors and backhoes.
The new diesel blend is already reducing diesel pollution from
cars, trucks and buses along Highways 5 and 99. The off-road
rules will translate into cleaner air beginning in 2012.

At today's San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Task Force meeting,
stakeholders will review ARB staff proposals of augmentations of
mobile source reductions, concepts introduced by the
International Sustainable Systems Research Center and new ideas
from the community. The ARB Chairman has directed staff to
report back to the full Board on the public discussions and
input generated by the task force meetings at the Nov. 15, 2007

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. 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.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every
Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy
consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and
cut your energy cost, see our web site at http://www.arb.ca.gov


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