Air Quality Standards for Ozone Pollution in Nevada County sign now

I am a citizen of Western Nevada County and I am very concerned about the increase of ground-level ozone pollution present in the air in our community. I am writing to ask you for your leadership and support in requiring the California Air Resources Board to comply with the federal Clean Air Act and revise the State Implementation Plan for California so that it will ensure Nevada County can meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. This request is made for the health and well-being of our citizens.

Furthermore, I urge you to support the requirement that the Metropolitan Planning Organizations, including the Sacramento Council of Governments, abide with the Clean Air Act and conform transportation plans with the State Implementation Plan so that such plans do not further contribute to the delay of Nevada Countys timely attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.

The western portion of Nevada County, including the Cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, has failed to meet reasonable health based standards for air quality and have been designated "non-attainment" zones for ozone pollution by the federal government. Ozone pollution is increasing in Western Nevada County and exceeded national standards in 2006 on 25 days.

The American Lung Association in its 2007 State of the Air Report concluded that Western Nevada County is the 13th most ozone polluted county and the 1st most ozone polluted rural county in the United States. Ozone pollution in Nevada County is significantly worse than in areas commonly associated with air pollution, including New York City; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Las Vegas, Nevada; and many other US cities.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Lung Association, ozone is a powerful respiratory irritant that can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, coughing, and premature death. Repeated exposure to high levels of ozone also leads to reductions in lung function, inflammation of the lung lining and increased respiratory discomfort, and irreversible damage in developing lungs. The U.S. EPA estimates that one out of three residents of Nevada County is at risk of experiencing health problems from ground level ozone.

The majority of Nevada Countys ozone is transported by wind from the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Areas, and nearly half of all ozone is the result of on-road motor vehicle exhaust.

You, as our elected representatives, are the liaisons between our community and the California Air Resources Board plans that will permanently impact our health and well-being.

As the California Air Resources Control Board and the U.S. EPA work on a State Implementation Plan to improve the quality of air in California, I ask you to help ensure that those agencies issue a State Implementation Plan that will directly address and diminish the levels of ozone in Western Nevada County. In addition, I urge you to require the Sacramento Council of Governments, and other Metropolitan Planning Organizations in charge of transportation plans affecting Nevada Countys air quality, to conform all transportation plans to the State Implementation Plan, as required by the Clean Air Act. This is clearly not a discretionary matter for our convenience - the health and future of our community depends on it.

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Alfredo CastroBy:
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Petition target:
CA State Senator Sam Aanestad, CA State Senator Dave Cox, U.S. Representative John Dolittle, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

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