Friday , May 24 2024

State Air Officials Approve Much-Anticipated Plan To Improve Valley Air Quality

After years of delays, the state has approved a plan to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. Air officials and clean air advocates celebrated Thursday as state Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols announced a unanimous vote to approve a valley-wide plan to control PM2.5. That’s the harmful particulate matter that obstructs the views of snowy Sierra Peaks and is associated with increased asthma attacks, reduced immune function and low birthweight in newborns. The vote in a downtown Fresno ballroom came two years after the state struck down an earlier plan for not being sufficiently comprehensive. The revised version, written by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, meets more federal standards and includes more feedback from the community. “It’s a culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people in the Valley who really care about our air quality,” said Valley air district director Samir Sheikh in an interview after the meeting. The new plan incorporates

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