Letters to the Editor

'Simply unacceptable'

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board is up to its old tricks again. On April 30, the board will meet to consider a proposal that would delay attaining clean air by 11 years.

Experts tell us that each year the Valley is in non-attainment costs the Valley $1,000 a person ($3.2 billion), 1,200 lives, asthma rates in children approaching 20%, some of the nation's highest death rates for asthma (Fresno County ranks third in the nation), and difficulty in encouraging new talent and industry to locate here.

Four of the nation's five most smog-polluted cities are in California, nearly all in the Valley. The cost to our economy and health care system appears enormous. I hope the public will demand that the board end these unacceptable costs. The public must insist that the board update its inventory of polluters, base policy on modeling that uses current information, prepare an appropriate environmental impact report for any changes in existing attainment goals, place clean-up responsibility on polluters and work diligently to clean our air as quickly as possible.

Under the new proposal, it is simply unacceptable that a child born today will not breathe clean air until high school graduation.

Brian and Rita Cohen