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May 20, 2015
Contact: Ayse Gursoz, (650)391-6443 cell or ayseg@ggbreathe.org

Director of SF Environment forecasts California’s next 25 years
at 25th Annual Clean Air Awards

San Francisco, Calif. – In its landmark 25th year, Breathe California’s CLEAN AIR AWARDS recognized nine Bay Area innovators using effective strategies to address climate change, air quality, and lung health. The event, hosted by Breathe California at The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco on Thursday, May 21st, brought together over 200 of the region’s most influential corporate, environmental and elected leaders dedicated to addressing the most pressing issues of our times.

Deborah O. Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment), delivered an impactful keynote address, forecasting California’s environmental policy and climate change mitigation needs in the next 25 years. California is known for spearheading influential national environmental policies. According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the nation’s Clean Air Act of 1990 relied heavily on elements of the California Clean Air Act, and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards were promulgated by the Federal EPA following California’s lead in 1971.

“Though much has been accomplished in air quality and protecting our climate, toxic pollution continues to impact our health,” said Linda Civitello, CEO of Breathe California, Golden Gate Public Health Partnership. “We are acutely aware that defending public health requires collaboration and the combined efforts of many and we must act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.”

According to the World Health Organization’s findings, air pollution is now the world’s single greatest environmental health risk, claiming one in eight total deaths worldwide.

The 2015 Clean Air Awards proudly honored the following recipients:

Climate Change Mitigation
Environmental Defense Fund – For research and advocacy to control methane leak pollution from natural gas distribution

Education
ECO2school Program, Center for Climate Protection –
For empowering Sonoma County high school students to address climate change

Honorable Mention – Green Ninja, San Jose State University

Green Buildings
Hewlett Packard  – For achieving LEED Gold certification for Moffett Towers

Leadership
Supervisor John Gioia, Contra Costa County – For addressing the health, safety, air quality and climate impacts of refineries in the Bay Area

Public Awareness
Experience Electric / MTC & BAAQMD – For providing thousands of free electric vehicle test drives for Bay Area residents

Research
Dr. Mehrdad Arjomandi – For his significant contribution to the understanding of the health effects of exposure to pollutants

Transportation
TransForm – For regional policies and programs to promote public transportation

Honorable Mention – Santa Clara University

Breathe California would also like to recognize the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, for its support of the event.

Breathe California is dedicated to fighting lung disease, advocating for clean air and advancing public health. For more than a century, we have addressed the most serious health threats through grassroots programs that empower individual, institutional and community change for better breathing and healthier living. For more information about Breathe California, the Clean Air Awards or our award recipients, visit www.cleanairawards.org or call one of our Bay Area affiliates at (650) 994-5868 or (408) 998-5865.
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