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In the News



July 13, 2012

Contact: Kevin Hall 559-301-5537

WHAT:  Media Availability by Air Quality Advocates, Health Experts

WHEN:  10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, July 13


Valley Air Board understates smog levels, fails to warn public

FRESNO - The San Joaquin Valley endured its second day in a row of high air pollution levels without a word of warning from the public health agency tasked by law with keeping more than 4 million people warned of danger on dirty air days, and the third such day in a row will happen today, Friday the 13th. 

"Either the Valley Air Board is asleep at the wheel or its members have simply chosen to look the other way," said Kevin Hall, Director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, Fresno. "Despite the fact that research funded by the Board and highlighted in its annual report to the community shows that high smog levels lead to spikes in children's asthma attacks and emergency room visits." According to the report, authored by the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, on summer days of the worst ozone pollution, youth are 69% more likely to be admitted to an emergency room for asthma.

(see page 26 at

This marks the second time in 2012 the Valley Air Board has failed to issue public safety warnings about high smog levels; June 1 saw this year's first high spike during which the federal one-hour standard for ozone was violated in Parlier, Calif. On July 12 monitors throughout Fresno, Clovis and Madera moved into the purple range on the Air Quality Index -- for up to four hours in the worst case.


 "While today's air quality index is projected to drop slightly today, it will still be dangerously high. As for the air board's predictions, yesterday in Fresno County it should have been a Purple Flag Day," said Hall. "The AQI averaged above 200, and from 2 pm to 5 pm it was above 250. These are dangerously high levels. Our concern is that warnings are not being issued; if the Valley Air Board truly wanted to protect people, warnings would begin at the 100 AQI level." Such warnings were issued earlier this year when winds led to dusty conditions.

 For information on ground level ozone and its impacts on human health, go to:

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Who We Are

For Immediate Media Inquiries, Contact:
Dolores Barajas-Weller, Director
Central Valley Air Quality Coalition

About the Organization

Founded in 2003, the Fresno-based Central Valley Air Quality Coalition (CVAQ) is a partnership of more than 70 community, medical, public health, environmental and environmental justice organizations representing thousands of residents in the San Joaquin Valley unified in their commitment to improve the health of all Californians.

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