Clearing the Air – August 2012

The Valley Air Board sat ominously silent in the second week of July as smog levels throughout the San Joaquin Valley repeatedly violated health standards. Not a word of warning was issued as lung-scarring ozone clouds formed and spread. No emergency air alerts were issued, not even a simple request to drive less was made. Apparently, “Spare the Air” has become “We Just Don’t Care.”

As the California Air Resources Board’s pollution “bingo card” image shows, it was hard to find a safe place to breathe in our 24,000-square-mile garage that week. During the course of the week, every county had multiple violations, and for three days in a row, every one of the region’s 24 air pollution monitors recorded violations of the state or federal standards.

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