On Friday May 20th, the Cleaner Air Partnership (CAP) was honored at the Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails' 35th annual Clean Air Awards luncheon as the 2011 Regional Clean Air Champion. "It's hard to remember back 25 years when the Cleaner Air Partnership was founded, but it was born in conflict and controversy. The business and environmental communities communicated only by lawsuit. It was inefficient and wasteful," said Tom Stallard, Chairman of the Cleaner Air Partnership.
|Jayna Karpinski-Costa and Tom Stallard at the Clean Air Awards|
"Dialogue and partnership mark our situation today. Through the Cleaner Air Partnership we have found common ground and shared priorities. Today we no longer think of ourselves as representing business or environmental interests, but instead representing the goals and priorities of all people in our region."
The Regional Clean Air Award is given to an organization or individual who has made outstanding contributions resulting in specific efforts or programs that improve air quality on a regional, multi-county basis. Former CAP Chairman Suzanne Phinney said that there are not many organizations that are still active and relevant after 25 years.
The Cleaner Air Partnership has achieved significant accomplishments since its founding, including:
- Tightened up regulations on industry;
- Instituted Bay Area Smog Check II that reduces transport of auto pollution up the valley to the Sacramento region;
- Shifted private and public vehicle fleets to clean-burning fuels;
- Expanded light rail and other alternative modes of transit; and
- Sought incentive-based approaches to change-out old wood-burning stoves, and more.
"It takes a long time for social change," said Jude Lamare, Cleaner Air Partnership Director Emeritus. "Working together in venues such as the Cleaner Air Partnership builds pathways to change in the community." As a result of the Cleaner Air Partnership and others' efforts, the Sacramento Region has experienced a 41% reduction in NOx emissions since 1990, despite a 40% increase in population. To learn more about the Cleaner Air Partnership visit www.cleanerairpartnership.org.