air quality

Can The Free Market Curb Asthma in Fresno?

Oct 31, 2013
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Is there a profit to be found in reducing children’s asthma attacks? A diverse team of public health advocates, asthma care providers, financiers, and foundations has set up a pilot program with the goal of making money for investors while solving a deeply entrenched health crisis in and around Fresno, California.

Valley Air District to Issue Air Alert Monday

Aug 16, 2013
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has announced that it intends to issue an "Air Alert" early next week. The alert will begin Monday August 19th and continue through Wednesday August 21st. 

This district is urging residents to take steps that can reduce the amount of ozone pollution, and prevent a potential violation of the 1-hour ozone standard. In addition to health risks posed by ozone pollution, violating the standard could also result in a $29 million federal penalty.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

If you’re expecting clean air in the San Joaquin Valley, don’t hold your breath.

The American Lung Association released this week its annual State of the Air report. It shows that Valley cities continue to top the lists for the most polluted areas in the nation for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and annual particle pollution.

C. Taylor Crothers

This week on Valley Edition, Rebecca Plevin reports on the California Air Resources Board's approval of a plan intended to bring the Valley's particulate pollution into compliance with federal standards. But residents and health advocates expressed concern that the plan doesn't act quickly enough to protect public health.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The San Joaquin Valley’s polluted air is a daily concern for Mario Talavera.

“When I go to the pharmacy, they ask why I need medicine," said Talavera, of Fresno. "For Mario, Angelica, Tomas, Jose. And for me too, Mario. I have asthma. The only person who doesn’t have asthma is my wife.”

It’s a constant stress for Fresno resident Teresa Vidales, too. Her husband, a construction worker and the family breadwinner, has asthma. One of her four kids does, too.

Penn State / NASA

NASA scientists and aircraft took to the skies above Fresno and Bakersfield today. It's part of a project that one day hopes to predict and air quality from space.

Two aircraft, including a converted Navy P3-B flew repeated loops over various valley cities today, one of them as low as 1,000 feet, to gather air samples. It's part of a program NASA calls DISCOVER-AQ which aims to better understand pollution spikes and how pollutants react with sunlight throughout the day. 

North Fork Rancheria

This week on Valley Edition we talk about plans by a local Native American tribe to open a casino on land north of Madera along Highway 99. The effort took a big step forward in recent days as the Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed to put the land for the new casino in trust for the tribe.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The small Kern County community of Arvin has some of the worst air in the nation. Surrounded on two sides by mountains at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, the city's 16,000 residents breathe air polluted by cars, trucks and industrial operations from nearby, and from across the valley. But now some members of the community are taking matters into their own hands, with a "bucket brigade" that aims to clean up the air. But their efforts are not without controversy. 

The California Air Resources Board says refineries can begin producing and selling winter-blend gasoline.

The blend is usually not sold until October 31st because it’s a more volatile compound and its quick evaporation can harm air quality during hot weather.

But Governor Jerry Brown requested the early switch because of the recent gas price spikes. 

The Board’s Dave Cleggern says with the cooler weather he doubts it will have any negative environmental effect.

California Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board has created a map that shows the state’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. It is a significant step in the development of California’s Cap and Trade program.

On the new Google Earth map are 625 facilities that each produce more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. The map breaks down facilities by industry, zip code and emissions. But, Stanley Young with the Air Resources Board says state-to-state comparisons aren’t yet available.

This week on Valley Edition, we look at how budget cuts are threatening patients who rely on California's Adult Day Health Care centers, how global warming may cause the San Joaquin Valley's air to become even worse, and how the Fossil Discovery Center in Madera County is bringing paleontology to residents of the Valley.

Valley Edition: Tuesday July 17, 2012:

On this week's Valley Edition we talk about a new study that links dementia and air pollution, a new program that aims to help people stay in their homes, and a plan to make Highway 152 a toll road. 

Valley Edition for February 21, 2012:

This week on Valley Edition we talk about this winter's especially poor air quality and learn what residents can do to stay healthy. We'll also talk about the once again stalled Fresno Veterans Home, and a program to help Valley residents make their homes more energy efficient. 

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