Air Quality Matters blog introspection and other thoughts

After almost a-year-and-a-quarter into writing and 297 posts later, the Air Quality Matters blog journey continues. The journey so far has been interesting, enlightening; no question.

When I think about it, I can’t say with certainty exactly what it was that prompted my interest in air quality issues, but I would have to believe the place where I reside – in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley – had much to do with it.

Add to this, periodic trips to the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast regions, which, for me, no doubt, served to amplify that interest. Most all who have traveled to and from such should know all too well of which I am alluding. Stating the obvious and to be blunt, the Valley can’t hold a candle to California’s Bay Area or Central Coast environs in this regard.

And the Valley has company. In case you aren’t already aware, our rival or counterpart in terms of notoriously bad air quality is none other than the Los Angeles basin.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently shed some relevant light.

Showing a map of the United States, in the lower left-hand corner is a legend of sorts with this admonition: “7 counties are projected not to meet 12.0 μg/m3 [micrograms per cubic meter of air] in 2020,” the heading of the portable document format document reading: “EPA Projections Show 99% of U.S. Counties with Monitors Would Meet the Annual Fine Particle Health Standard of 12 μg/m3 in 2020.”

So, why do I feel this is so important?

First of all, notice all counties identified (those being shaded in green) are all in California – four in the Los Angeles basin and three in the Valley. If that right there isn’t telling enough, then I don’t know what is.

That the Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley regions are considered the nation’s two worst air-offender regions for both fine particulate matter and ozone, I believe it best to push the technological-innovation-, compliance- and common-sense-practices agendas as the best ways to address not just California’s but the world’s dirty-air dilemma. Nothing else or less will do.

Relatedly, and to reiterate by borrowing a passage from a previous post, “Where I am going with this discourse is recognizing that our air is damaged. But it isn’t enough to just be aware of the problem. Initiating comprehensive, corrective steps to right the air quality ship to me is not only the proper and prudent thing to do, following this protocol is really in the best interests of anyone and everyone who breathes air.”

And from “What’s it gonna take…to tackle dirty air?” there is this: “California is one of, if not, the nation’s worst air offender(s). This being the case, my suspicion is if the air crisis within the Golden State can be tackled, then the same would likewise apply anywhere else the problem exists, making such remediation efforts a piece of cake, a cakewalk and walk in the park, in other words.”

I thought it was worth repeating.

– Alan Kandel