CONTACT: Ashley Alvarez, 210-207-2098
SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 17, 2018) – The City of San Antonio has launched a new initiative to improve air quality in the community. Area schools are now invited to participate in Clean Air for Kids!, a voluntary vehicle anti-idling initiative of the award-winning “Breathe Today. SA Tomorrow” public information campaign that leverages community involvement in the effort to improve San Antonio’s air quality.
“Not idling near our schools will reduce emissions around our kids,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Director, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. “This is a great example of steps everyone in the community can take to reduce air pollution, protect our children’s lungs and help San Antonio reach the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ozone attainment levels.”
The program reminds bus drivers and parents who may be engaging in unnecessary vehicle idling while in the pick-up and drop-off lines at schools to turn off their engines. The anti-idling sign template, parent pledge forms in English and Spanish and program guidelines are available for free at www.sanantonio.gov/sustainability.
“Following the EPA’s designation of marginal nonattainment for Bexar County, the City is taking an even more comprehensive approach to ensure the health of San Antonio’s future with the Clean Air for Kids! program,” said Doug Melnick, Chief Sustainability Officer.
Prolonged exposure to ground-level ozone in polluted air particularly threatens the health of children, people who are active or work outdoors and those with respiratory illnesses. Ozone is formed from nitrous oxides emitted from combustion engines combined with volatile organic compounds and sunlight.
Toxic emissions from gas-powered vehicles are the largest contributor to poor air quality in the area. The City of San Antonio and Bexar County have until the end of 2020 to attain the EPA’s federally-mandated ozone standard or face stricter regulations. Individuals can help reduce emissions that contribute to air pollution by not idling their vehicles and by taking the bus, carpooling, biking or walking to travel.
The Office of Sustainability has a limited number of signs and pledge forms available free of charge for qualified schools. To register as a Clean Air for Kids! school or for more information, contact Julia Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 210-207-6372 or visit www.sanantonio.gov/sustainability.