Last month's round-table discussion on poor air quality in the Valley now available online

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

Fresno, CA--Last month's lunchtime round-table discussion, "Not Another Generation: What We Can Do Now to Restore Healthy Air in Our Communities?""at Toledo's Restaurant in Fresno, CA hosted by non-profit environmental justice organization, Healthy Air Alliance, and moderated by ONME News publisher, Julia Dudley Najieb, is now available online on The ONME Network. Expert panelists addressed the visible effects of poor air quality in ethnic communities, as well as doable solutions for individuals to help reduce ozone and particulate matter pollution (PM2.5).

PM2.5 has been known to have detrimental effects on the heart and lungs, and are linked to a long list of health problems, including asthma, lung cancer, Valley Fever and other lung infections.

Central Valley community activist and panelist Paula Massey, shared a passionate story about her son who died from Valley Fever.

Future scientist and programmer, Kieshaun White who headed project “Healthy Fresno Air,” was also a panelist and long-life asthma sufferer, described his story of why he wanted to help educate poorer communities of color, especially in West Fresno where he currently resides.

Panelist Chris DeLeon, representing Fresno Metro Ministry, described the community garden program in Fresno, CA he runs; he is expanding to other parts of the Valley.

Ana Stone representing The San Joaquin Valley Air District (SJVAD,) spoke of incentives for residents who can replace their lawnmowers to electric, fireplace upgrade incentives and other resources available to Central Valley residents.

Hosting Healthy Air Alliance panelist, Jim Kennedy, who specializes in California environmental issues responded to the question“What can we do now if we are not able to buy electric vehicles?”  Jim outlined ways people can reduce dependency on fossil fuels.  

"One policy avenue is to increase the availability of alternative fuels in our standard gas engine cars.   One such option would be biofuels (such as ethanol) which currently are 10% of the fuel we pump in California.  Biofuels are made from plants and displace gasoline providing a reduction in emissions.  In the Central Valley, biofuels provide an additional benefit by being made from left-over agriculture plant matter – creating better air by reducing burns.  Biofuels are a renewable energy source, unlike fossil fuels such as petroleum.  According to CARB, biofuels have had the greatest success in cleaning up the air in California."

Sandra Garcia, a representative from Congressman Jim Costa's office, revealed legislation Costa introduced this past July: H.R. 3973, the Clean School Bus Act. This legislation would provide $1 billion to help school districts across the country replace traditional school buses with electric ones. By reducing students’ exposure to diesel exhaust, the bill would significantly cut down on asthma-related health incidents, increase attendance, and provide long-term savings to school districts.

Last month's poor-air-quality roundtable is online on The ONME Network now, and will appear on CMAC TV channels tonight and this week: Comcast Channel 93 and AT&T Channel 99 Monday evening 8:00 PM-10:00 PM, Wednesday night, 9:00 PM -11:00 PM and Friday morning 10:00 AM.

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Air quality roundtable discussion to address ethnic disparities and practical solutions

Listen to full roundtable audio here:

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