Release 10-21
February 25, 2010
Dimitri Stanich
desk 916-322-2825
cell- 916-716-8047

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:
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.

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.