The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has recently developed a five-point proposal to weaken the federal Clean Air Act. For over 40 years, the Clean Air Act has reduced air pollution and the risk of its harmful effects. Last week, void of a transparent public process and against the advice of the only scientist and only medical doctor on the board, the district developed the proposal and traveled to Washington, D.C., to push its legislative platform.
The proposal seeks to eliminate minimum requirements and timelines under the Clean Air Act.
If the goal is clean air, the district needs to focus on meeting the requirements of the Clean Air Act. These amendments would make things easier for polluters, but won’t give us clean air. This air district spends so much energy looking for loopholes and scapegoats, it’s time they focus on what it can do here in the Valley.
We are often asked if “we can afford to clean up our air?” But with the worst air quality in the nation, high asthma rates, respiratory and breathing problems that send our children and elderly to the hospital, the question should be: “Can we afford not to clean up our air?”
Thomas Helme, Modesto