Release 90-04
May 4, 1990
CONTACT: Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

ARB Co-Sponsors Air Quality Symposium

        SACRAMENTO - Air quality experts and local leaders from throughout the San Joaquin Valley will gather, in Fresno May 7-8, for the third San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Symposium, co-sponsored by the Air Resources Board (ARB) and California State University, Fresno. The $9.9 million San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Study, scheduled for later this year, will be the main topic of discussion.

        The Symposium focuses on air pollution problems and solutions unique to the San Joaquin Valley. This year's featured speakers will be Kern County Supervisor Pauline Larwood and Assemblyman Jim Costa, D-Fresno, who will open the Symposium at the Fresno Airport's Holiday Inn at 9 a.m.

        The valleywide air quality research project, intended to set the groundwork for long-term, anti-smog efforts, is a combined effort of the ARB, the eight San Joaquin Valley air pollution control districts and private sponsors.

        The information gathered will be used to help researchers better understand the Valley's air quality makeup, which has changed because of urban growth and increased motor vehicle and industrial pollution. That information will help regulators determine the best measures needed to reduce the Valley's long-term air pollution problems and help industrial contributors better plan for the future.

        The study, in its third year, will actually gather most of its field data during a concentrated eight week period between July and August. Efforts for the last two years have focused on designing study projects and choosing the most appropriate equipment to measure the Valley's windflow and pollution concentrations.

       Jananne Sharpless, ARB chairwoman said, "Geography and climate play a major role in how smog is formed throughout California. This is especially true in the San Joaquin Valley, where the atmosphere is more efficient at converting emissions into smog than anywhere else in the state, including the Los Angeles area.

        "Explosive growth in population and industry will pose new problems, we will need new information to find solutions to them.

        "We know that our existing programs, from strict emission standards of industrial projects to tailpipe standards and Smog Check for cars, are very effective in reducing today's air pollution in the Valley.

        "The result of this study will be most important five or ten years from now, as we fine-tune programs in looking for long-term solutions to the Valley's air quality problems, she added.

        The study's first phase, completed in 1989, cost nearly $3 million and developed study methods and instruments to measure pollutants.

        This summer's research efforts will focus on the actual data gathering process. That effort will use sophisticated technologies, including aerial measurements and tracer gases, to determine the Valley's windspeeds and directions. Other projects scheduled this summer will better determine the amounts and types of air pollution present in the Valley's air, and where that pollution comes from.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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