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One person can make difference in clean air fight
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RIPON – Part of the “Healthy Air Living” includes reducing the number of vehicles on the road on a day-to-day basis.

But that’s easier said than done, according to Ripon City Councilman Garry Krebbs.

“The big problem is that our homes are here but most of the jobs are in the Bay Area,” he said at last Tuesday’s meeting.

Krebbs has just returned from Europe. He noted there that jobs are often created and located in the same community. Krebbs and his colleagues on Tuesday heard a presentation by Rupi Gill of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

He’s listed as agency’s permit services manager. Gill, who spoke on behalf of the “Healthy Air Living” outreach campaign, also provided clean-air strategies.

“One person can make a difference,” he said.

Gill suggested walking, riding a bike, replacing any old gas-powered mowers, and taking one trip rather than multiple to run errands.

The goal of “Healthy Air Living” is for all businesses, organizations and individuals in San Joaquin Valley make air quality a priority in their decision-making process.

The Valley is one of the most polluted regions in the nation, with the long, warm summers that suited for agriculture also contributing to air quality problems.

“We’re surrounded by mountains – Sierra Nevada to the east, the coastal range to the west, and the Tehachapi to the south – that creates ideal conditions for trapping air pollution,” Gill said.

He added that the traffic that barrels along Interstate 5 and Highway 99 contribute to the poor air quality.

The SJVAPCD was created in 1992 and covers eight counties: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and the Valley air basin portion of Kern.

The District has a mission of improving the health and quality of life for all Valley residents via cooperative and effective air quality programs.

Over the past 10 years, according to Gill, SJVAPCD has reduced emissions from stationary sources such as power plants, oil refineries, manufacturing plants, and processing plants and dry cleaners by 80 percent.

“Heavy duty trucks are the major contributors (to emissions), he said, noting that passenger and off-road vehicles along with farm equipments also contribute to the problem.

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