Posts Tagged: air quality

News

Amid pandemic, air quality remains critical environmental challenge

A nearly empty freeway interchange near downtown Los Angeles, photographed in April 2020. (Photo: Time Media)

In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by almost 9%, and the state’s smoggy skies briefly cleared. This was particularly true during the pandemic’s first months, when schools closed, offices went remote, and statewide shelter-in-place orders kept millions of Californians at home. That spring, clogged freeways went vacant. Fewer semis rattled down roads.

Opinion

Let’s shift into high gear to fight vehicle-linked pollution

The Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles. (Photo: Jose Luis Stephens, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s time for California to change lanes when it comes to transportation. For generations, transportation and land use decisions have placed inequitable burdens on the health of  Californians with vulnerabilities.  Communities designed almost exclusively for cars, even for the shortest trips, increase air pollution and reduce opportunities for building health into daily routines.

News

Note to industry: Electric trucks save lives

An electric big-rig tractor-trailer truck. (Photo: Union of Concerned Scientists)

OPINION: Polluters never miss an opportunity to exploit a crisis for financial gain — and the coronavirus crisis is no exception. As millions of Americans hunker down in their homes, sacrificing their incomes to save lives, truck manufacturers are endangering people in my community by lobbying for delays to the nation’s first electric truck standard, which would slash toxic air pollution from trucks.

Opinion

Air quality regulators must protect vulnerable communities

Unhealthy smoke covering San Jose in 2018, the result of wildfires. (Photo: 1000Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The impact of California’s wildfires have left residents across the state with unhealthy air that residents in the Central and Inland Valley breathe throughout the year. The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report shows that 11 California cities rank within the highest ozone levels or worst particulate contamination in the nation.

Opinion

Election results good news for air quality, climate

A sunset view of hazy, downtown Los Angeles from Griffith Peak. (Photo: travelview, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Now that almost all the contests have been decided, what do the 2018 elections tell us about the future of air and climate policies in California? In general, both ballot measures and candidate races give hope to those trying to reduce emissions that are damaging human health and altering our climate.

News

Following fires, NorCal air quality still suffers

A wildfire burns near Fallbrook in San Diego County on July 26. (Photo: Randy Miramontez)

After two weeks straight of heavy smoke blanketing Northern California from multiple wildfires, some residents got a bit of a break this week. Blue skies began to reappear from Sacramento to the Sierra and “good” to “moderate” air quality ratings returned, replacing the previous alarming “unhealthy” ratings.

Opinion

How did the air fare in cap-and-trade?

Air pollution over Suisun Bay as seen from Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County. (Photo: Sundry Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The bills (AB 398 and AB 617) that Gov. Jerry Brown signed on July 25 and 26 represent the culmination of years of debate in the Capitol over global warming and air quality. Now that those bills have become law, what have we learned?

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