Most Active Stories
- 'Grapes Of Wrath' Is 75, But Its Depictions Of Poverty Are Timeless
- 'Bumpy' California Enrollment Period Ends With Over 3 Million Health Care Sign-Ups
- New Drought Fund To Support Those Most In Need
- City of Fresno Envisions New Downtown Developments Near Chukchansi Park
- California Bill Would Put English-only Instruction Back Before Voters
Valley Public Radio Staff
Thu November 14, 2013
Valley Air District Celebrates Cleanup Milestone, More Work Remains
In the decades-long effort to clean up the San Joaquin Valley's notoriously poor air, 2013 might be a milestone. For the first time, the air basin had zero violations of the hourly federal ozone standard.
That news prompted the governing board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to vote Thursday to formally request that the EPA lift a required a $29 million annual penalty.
“Becoming the first and only region in the nation with ‘Extreme’ classification to meet the standard is an achievement the entire Valley should be very proud of,” said Skip Barwick, chair of the Valley Air District’s Governing Board.
The penalty, which is funded by a fee on vehicle registrations in the Central Valley, generated funds that the air district used to pay for emissions reductions.
According to the air district, in 1996 the region experienced 281 violations of the hourly ozone standard. That dropped to only seven in 2012 and zero in 2013.
Despite the progress on the federal one-hour standard, the valley remains out of compliance with the more stringent eight-hour ozone standard.