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Valley achieves historic clean-air mark for smog

Valley achieves historic clean-air mark for smog

For the first time in recorded history, the San Joaquin Valley in 2013 had zero violations of the hourly ozone standard established under the federal Clean Air Act.  With the conclusion of the official ozone season that runs from March through October, the District will now submit a formal request to the federal Environmental Protection Agency to declare the Valley in attainment of the key standard and lift the $29 million penalty mandate which Valley residents have been paying since late 2010.

Check Before You Burn begins 11th season

Check Before You Burn begins 11th season

The Valley’s most important regulation for wintertime air-pollution reduction begins its 11th season Nov. 1.

Check Before You Burn, which has resulted in historically clean wintertime air quality in the Valley, continues through February. This wood-burning curtailment program is a critical tool in minimizing harmful particulate pollution.

“The understanding and cooperation of the Valley’s residents has made this regulation the single-most cost-effective regulation on record in the air basin,” said Seyed Sadredin, the Air District’s executive director and air pollution control officer. “It’s a matter of public health.”

Residential solar sales heat up

Residential solar sales heat up

Our forefathers may have made hay while the sun shined, but today Central Valley residents are making electricity.

Reduced system costs, continued economic incentives and more efficient technology have combined to make this a great time for homeowners to invest in residential solar energy.

Officials call Air Alert

Officials call Air Alert

Increasing ozone levels and possible smoke impacts from lingering wildfires have prompted local air officials to declare the air basin’s second Air Alert episode of 2013 beginning today (Monday, Sept. 9) and continuing through Wed., Sept. 11. The Air Alert is effective in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern counties.

2014 calendar contest seeks entries

2014 calendar contest seeks entries

The San Joaquin Valley Air District is seeking creative student artists to submit their work for the 2014 Healthy Air Living Kids’ Calendar contest. The deadline for entries is Oct. 7.

The annual, four-color, bilingual, wall  calendar is produced with the help of Valley students from kindergarten through high school, who create engaging artwork illustrating the ways Valley residents can live healthy air lives, with accompanying clean-air messages. Twenty-thousand copies are printed and distributed free of charge to schools, community groups, healthcare facilities, churches and nonprofit organizations throughout the Valley.

Guidelines for creating a winning Healthy Air Living calendar entry:

Rim Fire sends smoke to Valley floor

Rim Fire sends smoke to Valley floor

Health caution through weekend for most of air basin

The Rim Fire in Tuolumne County has prompted local air officials to issue a health cautionary statement for smoke impacts in six Valley air basin counties: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno and Tulare, especially the foothill and mountain areas. The caution is in place through Labor Day weekend, when visitors will be traveling to the Sierra Nevada.

If winds should shift, Kings and the Valley portion of Kern counties may become affected, as well.

“Our rule of thumb is, if you can see and smell smoke, you are probably being affected,” said Samir Sheikh, the Air District’s director of air quality analysis. In that event, air officials advise residents to take whatever health precautions their conditions warrant.

Smoke from Aspen, other fires infiltrates Valley floor

Smoke from Aspen, other fires infiltrates Valley floor

New health caution for the eight-county air basin

The Aspen Fire and other fires burning in northern California and Oregon have prompted local air officials to issue a health cautionary statement for smoke impacts in the entire Valley air basin. This includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties as well as the foothill and mountain areas.