The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has released its annual report to the community. The report paints a positive picture on air quality. But the report doesn’t quite add up for those who suffer from respiratory illnesses or who simply see the pollution blocking our Valley’s mountain views.
It’s important for residents to know that our air district has focused on easy targets — individuals. It’s much easier to spend $7 million on upgrading fireplaces than to reduce emissions from powerful Valley industries. Even though its motto is to “leave no stone unturned,” the district ignores significant sources of pollution, such as those that come from agricultural equipment, pesticides, fertilizers and confined animal facilities.
Instead, a lot of its energy has gone into searching for loopholes, like trying to weaken the Clean Air Act or funding research to show that maybe 5% to 10% of our summer pollution comes from China.
The air district prides itself on its excellent customer service to the permit holders, but in 2015-16 it should focus on the most important customer: Valley breathers.