NAPOLITANO, ALLEN UNVEIL CLEAN AIR INITIATIVE
Addresses Greenhouse Gases, Climate Change
Governor Janet Napolitano and State Senator Carolyn Allen today unveiled a joint effort to address air quality issues in Arizona and pass comprehensive air quality legislation. Senator Allen's Senate Bill 1552 (SB1552) is a starting point for this discussion and includes measure to:
Expand the use of clean-burning, low-emissions fuels in our fastest-growing areas
Restrict the use of leaf blowers on days when a High Pollution Advisory has been issued
Require commercial trucks to cover and secure their loads to prevent particulates from escaping the vehicle and create more pollution
The new measure builds upon the groundwork begun by Governor Napolitano in two executive orders, including Executive Order 2007-3, Improving Air Quality, and Executive Order 2006-13, Climate Change Action.
"Every Arizonan resident deserves to have healthy air to breathe," Governor Napolitano said. "Children and senior are the most vulnerable. The quality of our air is a challenge that comes with our unprecedented growth, but it is not an obstacle that cannot be overcome."
Arizona is under two tight federal deadlines to show actions taken to reduce emissions of particulate pollution and meet the new, national ozone standard by the end of 2008 and for 10 years afterward. If the state does not take action now to improve air quality, the federal government could impose severe restrictions on Arizona and could, in the worst case, withhold federal highway dollars.
Poor air quality causes significant health problems for our residents. In 2005, Arizonans spent 23,000 patient days (more than 60 years) in the hospital for asthma. Air pollution has a debilitating effect on asthma sufferers, compounding the condition and making breathing extremely difficult. Heightened and more frequent asthma attacks triggered by air pollution are the number one cause of school absenteeism among children in Arizona with more than 2,500 children under the age of 15 hospitalized for asthma during 2005.
Governor Napolitano and Senator Allen called upon community members, business leaders and all interested parties to debate this important issue constructively so that a strong, comprehensive air quality bill can be crafted to improve air quality for all Arizonans.