The Cleaner Air Partnership (CAP) is a unique collaboration between Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Valley Vision. The three organizations team up to improve the Sacramento region’s air quality with a geographic focus on the large air basin that we share, including all of Sacramento and Yolo counties, and portions of El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Solano and Yuba counties. Because pollution from cars, trucks and mobile sources makes up 70 percent of the air problem, much of the region’s air quality challenges are in our control. That’s why CAP’s efforts generally center on programs that help minimize smog-forming emissions from vehicular sources. CAP favors an approach that features incentives to reward cooperation, innovation and proactive efforts.
What is the goal?
The goal is to improve air quality in the Sacramento region in a way that supports better health and promotes economic growth.
Why is this important?
Due to our geography and other factors, the Sacramento region is ranked as having some of the worst air quality in the nation. As a result, the rates of asthma and other damaging health impacts are high. Failing to meet our “budget” for smog and soot set by the federal and state government also carries big economic consequences, including the risk of losing hundreds of millions in federal transportation funding and additional fees on businesses.
How does this improve people’s lives?
Clean air makes our communities desirable places to live, work and raise a family, and is an important component of both environmental and economic health. That’s why many Cleaner Air Partnership actions serve to improve air quality support for California’s climate goals. Plus, accelerating adoption of clean technologies reduces air pollution, helps grow the clean energy economy and helps minimize risk of exceeding air quality standards to business. And because disadvantaged communities are disproportionately exposed to pollutants that negatively impact health, improving air quality has a positive impact on public health.
What is Valley Vision’s role?
Valley Vision has been managing the Cleaner Air Partnership for more than a decade, which brings together the business and public health communities to find solutions they can jointly support. Our work involves technical research, public education, building cooperation, advocating for supportive policies, and encouraging smart growth.
What is our desired impact?
To identify and agree on new ways to reduce pollution that considers long-term population growth projections, and achieve widespread, local implementation of air-friendly, smart-growth activities that improve the region’s air quality.
Valley Vision has served as project manager for the Cleaner Air Partnership since 2005 and continues to serve in this capacity today.