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New Year’s resolution: Reduce air pollution

Michael Schneider

While many people may be drafting such New Year’s resolutions as quitting smoking or watching less television, the Californians for Clean Air Progress are asking people to resolve to clean up the air in 1998.

Californians are being asked to do their part, whether it be by carpooling, limited driving or using air-friendly products in the coming year to build on the improvements in air quality.

According to the group, these continued efforts toward healthier air will require more than just continued cooperation between government and industry, as each citizen must also play a role.

In order for California to comply with Federal Clean Air Act standards, an 85 percent reduction in consumer product emissions is needed by 2010, according to the group.

It is estimated that these consumer products, such as hair spray, nail polish, paint, varnish and insecticides, account for 15 percent of all non-vehicular volatile organic compounds let loose into the air each year.

Vehicle emissions also play a part in the reduction of air quality, but despite new regulations which go into effect on Jan. 1, 1998 exempting 1973 and older vehicles from biennial smog renewal, Air Resources Board representatives said this shouldn’t effect a push for clean air.

Currently, 1965-and-older model vehicles are exempt from those smog requirements.

“That poses no problem for clean air,” said Joe Irvin, spokesman for the board, who said another law which provides a four-year exemption from biennial smog checks for new vehicles shouldn’t pose a problem to air quality either. “It’s statistically insignificant.

“It’s something we can all live with.”

BREAKOUT

The Californians for Clean Air Progress has created a top ten list of tips and is distributing these to media outlets statewide.

Try carpooling or use mass transit at least once a week.

Keep up the regular maintenance on automobiles, especially tune ups and smog checks.

Look for low- or no-emission hair sprays, paints and other household products.

Shop by phone or mail.

When in the market for a new car, look for those that have been certified as low- or ultra-low emission vehicles.

Combine your errands in one trip.

Recycle, and choose recycled products.

Report smoking vehicles by calling your local air district or 1-800 End Smog.

Replace older inefficient refrigerators, clothes washers or water heaters and study the “Energy Guide” labels on new appliances.

For additional information and tips, contact locally – Dennis Otani, Air Pollution Control Board, at 621-5804, or statewide – the California Air Resources Board at 916-322-2990.


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