APRIL 2021
Marc My Words: May is Clean Air Month
A Letter from the Breathe Southern California President & CEO
Did you know that May is Clean Air Month?
This month-long awareness campaign has been observed across the United States every May since 1972, just two years after President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act of 1970. Since that year, emissions of the six most common air pollutants have dropped an average of 73%, but there is still much work to be done.
Clean Air Month was created to educate people about the impact that air pollution has on our lives and to encourage people to take positive steps to improve local and global air quality. Read below to learn more about the problems surrounding air pollution, individual actions to reduce emissions, and Breathe SoCal's efforts to clear the air in Southern California.
For more air quality information, visit www.breathesocal.org. And follow uon social media @BreatheSoCal, and me @mcarrel.

In Health,
Marc Carrel 
President & CEO
What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution includes many harmful substances that can be found in the air. While some types of air pollution come from nature, most are human-made. When air pollution levels rise, it can cause a serious threat to your health and the environment. 

The two leading air pollutants in Southern California are:
  • Ozone: Ground-level ozone, also known as smog, is not released directly into the air – cars, factories, and power plants emit nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons that mix in the air and react with heat and sunlight to create ozone. Ozone forms more easily in Southern California’s hot and sunny weather. Unlike stratospheric ozone, which protects us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, ground-level ozone poses a very serious danger to our health.

  • Particulate Matter: Particulate matter includes tiny, microscopic particles and liquid droplets that are more than seven times smaller than the width of a single human hair. Particulate matter comes from diesel-fueled trucks and cars, construction equipment, power plants, refineries, factories, and wood smoke. These particles, which cause the brown haze we often see in the distance, are so small they can travel deep into your lungs and cause many health problems. 
Other types of air pollution that the government regulates include: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead. Like ozone and particulate matter, all of these forms of air pollution can cause health problems.
Is Air Pollution Still A Problem?
Since the federal Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, California’s air quality has steadily improved. Over the past years, the state has achieved:
  • A 30% decrease in ground-level ozone
  • 4 times less sulfur dioxide pollution
  • 2 times less carbon dioxide pollution
However, we still have a long way to go. 

Diesel vehicles are the main source of ozone, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide, and the number of cars and trucks on the road has more than doubled over the past 25 years. Air pollution from industrial factories, power plants, and refineries is also still a problem. As the population utilizes more energy and resources, new sources of air pollution may threaten California.
How Can I Help Fight Air Pollution?
There are many things you can do to help reduce air pollution for Clean Air Month.
  1. Drive less.
  2.  Go electric or hybrid
  3. Don’t burn wood
  4. Report smoking cars, idling trucks, or other illegal sources of air pollution to your local air quality district
  5. Support wildfire prevention efforts (learn more from SoCal Edison
  6. Plant trees
  7. Conserve energy and water (reducing the air pollution created by power plants)
Clear the Air by Going Electric!
Join one of our informational events to learn more about how you can combat air pollution by driving an electric vehicle.
Ride and Drive™
Why Now is the Time to Make Your Next Vehicle an Electric Vehicle  
Are you considering purchasing a new or used vehicle? 
Have you considered electric? You should.  
Join us on May 15th to learn about electric vehicles, why one may be right for you, and how to access available funds that will help you lower your cost on an electric vehicle. Featuring Sarah Randolph, Assistant General Manager at Blue LA.
Claim Your EV
Why Businesses and Apartment Owners Should Install Electric Charging Stations
Electric vehicle charging is within reach for SoCal businesses, multi-unit properties, and workplaces. Join Breathe SoCal and SoCal Edison for a discussion on May 27th on why business and multi-unit property owners should consider installing charging stations on their properties, and how they can access the current incentives, rebates, and tax credits that are available.
Breathe SoCal's Clean Air Advocacy Efforts
Breathe SoCal is proud to support several bills this legislative year that aim to advance environmental health and improve our region’s air quality. Breathe SoCal’s own Raj Dhillon, Senior Manager of Advocacy & Public Policy, served as a lead witness for SB 671 (Gonzalez) during a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality. SB 671 provides for a Clean Freight Corridor Assessment that ultimately will lead to the transition of diesel trucks to clean trucks. The goods movement sector is dominated by diesel-fueled vehicles, which is harmful to our lungs and contributes to our poor air quality.   

Locally, Breathe SoCal has been engaged in efforts to urge the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to push for a new rule that encourages large warehouses in the Inland Empire to reduce diesel truck pollution. The diesel exhaust from big rigs causes significant air pollution, climate emissions, and health problems for those living nearby. Breathe SoCal’s President and CEO, Marc Carrel, testified on the need to pass the rule to achieve “significant air quality and public health benefits that are long overdue.”
He explained that “children exposed to high levels of diesel exhaust are five times more likely to have underdeveloped lungs, and Asthma rates in Southern California have increased dramatically in the last three decades. A transition to clean trucks is the most effective way to address the diesel pollution problem.”
Breathe SoCal is excited that after many hours of testimony and discussion, the new rule passed on a 9-4 vote.
Clear the Air with Clean Power!
Qualified customers can save 20% on their energy bill with the Power Share program. The discount can also be applied to customers’ already discounted CARE or FERA programs.
Give the Gift of Clean Air
For decades, Southern California has been a world leader in cleaning the air by reducing smog and other pollutants. Our leaders took bold steps to make the environment healthier for us all but there is so much more to do! 
Did you know that over 135 million people in the U.S. live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution?
Breathe SoCal is working for stronger policies that help protect the health of our communities, shifting perceptions and understandings of how we view clean transportation and creating systemic change to ensure we keep our air clean.  
Join Breathe SoCal in addressing air pollution! Your meaningful gift of any amount will go directly to making our air cleaner, one day at a time.