We’ve made great progress cleaning our air. But as more and more people move to the area and our national air quality standards increase, so do the challenges for our region’s air advocates, businesses and residents. Here are the Cleaner Air Partnership’s main priority work areas for the coming years:
Promote air-friendly planning for growth
Our air-friendly growth advocacy focuses on three long-term regional plans which have huge air quality implications for our region:
Sacramento Regional 8-Hour Ozone Attainment and Reasonable Further Progress Plan (SIP) – The Cleaner Air Partnership is supportive of the SIP implementation, which will reduce emissions at the required rate of 3% per year and help us reach the 8-Hour Ozone standard by 2018. This SIP, after two years in development, was approved in 2009 by air quality officials in the El Dorado, Feather River, Placer County, Sacramento Metropolitan and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management Districts. It was revised in September 2013.
Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) – The MTP dictates how we spend $30 billion on roads, transit and other transportation in the next two decades – a huge issue in a region where 70% of air pollution comes from mobile sources. To retain our federal transportation funding, the transportation choices in the updated MTP will also have to support actions in the SIP that shows how we’ll meet stricter national health standards for ozone pollution. An air-friendly transportation plan is crucial – as is an air quality plan that recognizes and respects our regional economy.
Regional Blueprint smart-growth land-use plan (Regional Blueprint) – Our region has already recognized the challenge of integrated planning – and responded by creating a proactive growth plan that also helps our air quality. The Regional Blueprint plan reduces per-household driving by moving jobs, homes and services closer together during growth. Regional officials are using the Blueprint plan and its growth map as the starting basis for our new transportation plan. The Cleaner Air Partnership encourages communities to uphold Blueprint principles during their own planning as well.
Support incentives for pollution controls
Financial incentives can help reduce the regulatory impact on businesses and prompt a shift to cleaner technology sooner than the law requires. The local SECAT program and state Carl Moyer program are two such incentive programs here.
Expand and support regional membership
The part of our region that does not meet federal ozone standards includes portions of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. Regional input and assistance are crucial to create and enforce clean-air policies that protect both the economy and the environment.
Public education and communication
New information on health impacts helps drive stricter air pollution regulations all the time. Fortunately, there’s plenty that both citizens and businesses can do to be proactive and help themselves.
Air friendly freight and goods movement
Movement of goods through California ports is expected to more than double in coming years – and Sacramento is at the crossroads of the state’s goods-movement picture.
Interstate 5 and State Route 99 serve major north-south movement and Interstate 80 is a crucial east-west corridor serving the Bay Area and Port of Oakland. Our region is home to one of the West’s largest rail yards in Roseville, the Port of Sacramento and to the Mather Cargo Airport.
Growth in goods movement means more trucks, trains and planes moving through our region, potentially more economic opportunity – and more pollution to offset. We’re tracking and commenting on studies and plans for goods movement that are progressing this year at both the state level and the local level.
Maximize efficient road and transit use
Increased transit ridership and more efficient use of existing roads via carpooling and other measures helps improve our air quality – and can help save money on new infrastructure as well.