The Cleaner Air News
The newsletter of the Cleaner Air Partnership
Save the Date: Upcoming Events
Do Forestry Regulations Help Fuel Wildfire?
PPIC Survey Reveals Californians' Environmental Concerns
Cap-and-Trade Update
Upcoming Events

Climate Adaptation for Communities Training


August 18-20, 2015

Free training opportunity offered by NOAA and hosted by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

 Register today!


 California Climate Change Symposium 


August 24-25, 2015

Using climate science to plan for a resilient future. Register here.


September 23, 2015


A one-day workshop on what can be done to take bicycling to the next level in the Capital Region. More information and registration here . 

*The news links above the perspectives they contain do not necessarily reflect the views of the Cleaner Air Partnership or its members.  They are intended for information purposes.

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  Breathe Logo August 2015

Do Forestry Regulations Help Fuel Wildfire?

Investing in forest health seen as priority for California


California forestry rules require a minimum of 300 trees per acre on timber plantations which means spacing of about 13-feet between each tree. That many trees spaced so closely together may contribute to the problem of wildfire, which in turn affects air quality.


Malcolm North, an ecologist with the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, indicates that densely packed trees create a potentially dangerous situation. As interlocking branches grow between closely spaced trees, these branches provide a means for fire to spread rapidly from one tree to another. According to North, both the Rim fire (Yosemite area, 2013) and the King fire in the greater Sacramento Region in 2014 showed how flammable trees spaced this closely together on timber plantations can be, especially when they're young. Broader spacing of trees may allow for a healthier forest and will help reduce the mortality rate of trees when wildfires occur.


California's main approach to managing forest fires over the past decades has been fire suppression. Historically, naturally occurring wildfires removed excess fuel and thinned vegetation resulting in lower-intensity fires. A fire-suppression approach combined with 4-years of drought have exacerbated the situation of highly flammable forests. Larger and more extreme wildfires are the result. 


Rob York, a researcher with UC Berkeley's Blodgett Forest Research Station notes that better forest management practices are needed. Investing in forest health must become a high priority for California. According to York, the state will otherwise continue to see more severe wildfires on public and private lands.

PPIC Survey Reveals Californians' Environmental Concerns

Statewide survey shows agreement on global warming - and a few surprises

Educating our leaders and the general public about air quality issues, health, economic impacts, and potential solutions is one of the focus areas of the Cleaner Air Partnership (CAP). Understanding public perception is important in these efforts - so we paid attention when the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released their latest statewide survey, Californians and the Environment . Over 1,700 California adults were polled in English and Spanish on issues surrounding global warming, renewable energy, water, air quality, and more. 

Some key findings:
  • 6 in 10 Californians say that global warming has already begun.
  • 8 in 10 say that global warming is a threat to the California economy and our quality of life.
  • AB 32 has a 69% approval rate among Californians.
  • 7 in 10 adults favor requiring 50% of state energy to come from renewables by 2030.
  • More than 8 in 10 support building solar power stations. This support is strong across political affiliations and ethnic groups.
  • Only 3 in 10 know their water district's adopted target for water reduction.
  • 6 in 10 say air pollution is a big or somewhat big problem in their area. Latinos and blacks are more likely to say that air pollution is a problem.
  • In 2011, 27% of respondents considered air pollution to be the most important environmental issue facing California, compared to the water supply at 8%. In 2015, those noting air pollution have plummeted to 9% while 58% say that the water supply is the most important environmental issue.

When asked about any surprises in their findings, the PPIC researchers responded that they were surprised by the significant support across political parties for the energy goals in SB 350. They also found Governor Brown's approval rating on environmental issues to be particularly low at 47%. An audience member noted the Governor's controversial stances on environmental topics, including support for hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and the Delta water tunnel project as a potential explanation.


Note: PPIC uses the term 'global warming' instead of 'climate change' in their polling questions for purposes of comparing current perceptions of the issue with past survey results from 10 or more years ago, when 'global warming' was a more ubiquitous term. Download the full report from PPIC's website.


Cap-and-Trade Update

Sacramento Region secures $28 million in funding; ARB updates funding guidelines and 3-year investment plan


Most Cap-and-Trade Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) grant recipient information is in and awardees have been notified. Our 6-county region has received more than $28 million in Cap-and-Trade program funds. Approximately $12 million has gone to regional disadvantaged communities and about $16 million has gone to areas outside the designated disadvantaged communities. The Sacramento Region received project funding from the following Cap-and-Trade funded programs:


Strategic Growth Council, Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program: 

  • Delta Lane Affordable Housing and Grand Gateway, City of West Sacramento, $6,730,888

California State Transportation Agency, Transit and Intercity Rail Program

  • Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Travel Time Reduction Project, $5,420,700 (total project cost including match)
  • Sacramento Regional Transit, Refurbishment of 7 Lightrail Vehicles Project, $8, 034,000 (total project cost including match)
CalTrans, Low Carbon Transit Operations Program 
  • See the full awardee list here (there are many recipients from our region)
Dept. Water Resources, Water-Energy Grant Program
  • Regional Water Authority, Sacramento Regional Water Energy Efficiency Program, $2,500,000
  • City of Sacramento, City of Sacramento Department of Utilities District Metered Areas (DMAs) for Water Loss Control, $2,500,000
CalFire Urban Forestry Forest Legacy GGRF 
  • Sacramento Tree Foundation, Green Innovations grant for planting and education in Sacramento County, $1,000,000
  • Tree Davis, Green Trees for the Golden State grant in West Sacramento, $537,092
  • Sacramento Region Conservation Corps, Green Trees for the Golden State grant in Yuba City and Marysville, $291,107
  • Sacramento Tree Foundation, Urban Wood and Biomass grant in Sacramento City and County, $500,000  

With the first round of grant funding distributed, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) is in the process of updating the funding guidelines and 3 year investment plan. The deadline for public comments on the funding guidelines are due by August 14; comments may be submitted here. Comments for the draft investment plan concept paper are due on September 1 and can be submitted on ARB's website.

The Cleaner Air Partnership  is a joint project of Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and Valley Vision to help the Sacramento Region meet clean air standards that protect health and promote economic growth.