The Cleaner Air News
The newsletter of the Cleaner Air Partnership
Save the Date: Upcoming Events
Clean Cities Supports Clean Air Strategies
Draft 2016 Regional Transportation Plan Released for Public Comment
Cycling as the Ultimate Clean Air Commute
Upcoming Events
CAP Quarterly Luncheon
October 16

 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Clean technologies such as alternative fuels and electric vehicles are important to improving air quality. Learn more about supporting clean technology in the Capital Region.

Northern California Clean Technology Forum
October 14-15, 2015

Showcasing vehicle and fuel technologies for the next two years and next two decades.

Region Rising

November 20, 2015
An inaugural conference dedicated to dreaming big about our region's future and how each of us can bring it to life, now...

*The news links above  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 October 1, 2015
Clean Cities Supports Clean Air Strategies
Initiative seeks to reduce air pollution through fleet conversions

One of the key strategies for improving air quality in the Capital Region is to reduce air pollution from mobile sources such as cars and trucks. According to air quality program coordinator, Charles Anderson with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, on-road and off-road mobile sources contributed over 80% of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions in 2014. NOx is a key pollutant that interacts with sunlight in the formation of smog, technically known as ground-level ozone.  While the Capital Region is making progress in reducing NOx and improving air quality, there is more work to be done to ensure the region meets air quality standards. 

The Clean Cities initiative is an effort that supports the strategy of reducing air pollution from mobile sources. The Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition has been working to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and diversify our region's transportation fleet by supporting the use of alternative fuels and petroleum reduction. One of the Coalitions recent accomplishments was opening a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in partnership with Sacramento County.

The Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition will be holding the Northern California Clean Technology Forum on October 14th and 15th, 2015 at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, CA. The event will feature a tour of the CNG fueling station and will showcase vehicle and fuel technologies coming in the next 2 years and the next 2 decades.  Visit the Clean Cities website to learn more about the Clean Technology Forum or register for the event.

Draft 2016 Regional Transportation Plan Released for Public Comment
Plan seeks to improve air quality; reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is responsible for developing and maintaining the Capital Region's Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). The MTP/SCS is a long-range regional plan - looking out at least 20 years - for transportation projects, such as bikeways, roads, sidewalks, and transit projects. The MTP/SCS plan considers where jobs, housing and services are located today and will be located in the future. It also includes a financial forecast of the transportation projects within the plan that can be reasonably funded over the course of 20 years. The major outcomes of the MTP/SCS include improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The footprint of SACOG's planning area is the 6-county region (includes El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba) surrounding California's state capital, often referred to as the Capital Region. Sustainable Communities Strategies were integrated into the transportation planning process as a result of legislation in 2008, The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375). This legislation supports the State's climate action goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through coordinated transportation and land use planning. Under the Sustainable Communities Act, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sets regional targets for GHG emissions reductions from passenger vehicle use. CARB established these targets for 2020 and 2035 for each region covered by one of the State's metropolitan planning organizations (MPO). SACOG serves as the Capital Region's MPO.

With the focus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles, a major benefit to the Capital Region of the regional GHG reduction targets is the co-occurring reduction of harmful air pollutants from vehicles and other mobile sources. These sources contribute up to 70% of the criteria pollutants that cause harmful smog to form and which impact our air quality, and ultimately the physical and economic health of our region. 

"As the population of our region grows, how we grow is important to improving our air quality," said Bill Mueller, chief executive of Valley Vision and one of the three partners of the Cleaner Air Partnership. "Projects that provide efficient alternatives to passenger vehicle commutes to work, school or other destinations can reduce the amount of air pollution from the largest contributing source in our region." 

Make your voice heard: The Draft 2016 MTP/SCS is open for public comment through November 16. Public comments may be submitted via U.S. mail, email, online, or at a public hearing. From September through December, SACOG will hold four public hearings to gather comments on the draft MTP/SCS. Public hearings are scheduled for October 29 in Folsom; November 4th in Lincoln; November 5th in Woodland; and November 10th in Sacramento.
Cycling as the Ultimate Clean Air Commute 
Workshop held to advance cycling in the Capital Region

On September 23, the Local Government Commission held a workshop designed to advance bicycling in the Capital Region as a form of transportation beneficial to health, air quality and congestion relief. Elected officials, city managers, transportation and community planners, bicycle enthusiasts, transit authorities, and public health specialists, among others, gathered in Sacramento to discuss the many benefits and a few challenges related to bicycling as a form of transportation.

In the Capital Region, some of the challenges include geographic barriers such as rivers that can only be crossed in locations not-always convenient for bike trips, and a transportation system designed and built specifically around the mono-culture of the automobile.  The top two barriers to bicycling, identified in a Community & Transportation Preferences Survey of U.S. Metro Areas by the National Association of REALTORS and the University of Portland in July 2015, are reflective of this car-centric culture. When asked what keeps people from biking more, 51% stated the need for a vehicle to get to work, school or other destination; and 49% stated the places they need to go are too far to bike. The third highest barrier noted in the survey was lack of access to a bike (47%), followed by not feeling safe while biking due to traffic (41%) and too few bike lanes or trails (38%).

As discussed at the workshop, while the Capital Region continues to advance toward a bike-friendly culture, these challenges will need to be addressed through strategic investments in active transportation and in thoughtful, integrated plans for land-use, transportation and housing in order to unleash the health, economic and environmental benefits of cycling as a serious form of transportation. 

The Cleaner Air Partnership is supportive of bicycling as a commute alternative that improves health and reduces harmful air pollution. To learn more, visit the event website where the workshop agenda and presentations are available for download
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.