It’s among the most populated urban areas in the United States and one of the smoggiest.
Not taking it lightly, recognizing that Southern California residents want and deserve cleaner air, is South Pasadena City Councilmember Michael Cacciotti, who also serves on the board for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in Diamond Bar.
To his liking, the SCAQMD has developed adopted an Air Quality Management Plan, which serves as the blueprint to bring the SoCal region into compliance with federal and state clean air standards.
Cacciotti stands strongly behind the agency’s mission to protect the health of all residents in the South Coast Air District through practical and innovative strategies.
“I’m very passionate about air quality and human health,” explained Cacciotti, who is in Northeast China this week attending the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, where he is joining other governmental officials speaking on topics of concern.
Before setting off on his trip, Cacciotti met with SCAQMD officials, who prepared a PowerPoint and video about what individuals and merchants can do to clean up the air that he plans to showcase in China.
SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, representing 10,743 square miles and 16.8 million people–about half the population of California. The agency is responsible for controlling emissions primarily from stationary sources of air pollution, including anything from large power plants and refineries to the corner gas station.
“I’m excited about trying to influence Northeast Chinese Province about air pollution and how to clean it up,” said Cacciotti, who will be joining a delegation of key officials from Southern California.
Making his 10th trip to China, the local politician will marvel at the festival’s spectacular castles and sculptures. Thousands of artists, working in frigid conditions, use saws, chisels and ice packs to create the winter wonderlands made of ice and snow. The festival is expected to draw 18 million visitors now through early February.
“My message will be that we must all work together to clean up the air,” said the councilmember. “Governments have a big role in the effort, providing programs, incentives, to help people, communities. Businesses, large and small, are in this together. It costs a billion dollars a year to clean up the air in Southern California each year. China is already on board. We’re just going to encourage them to move faster.”
Cacciotti also plans to also give a short presentation about South Pasadena, enjoy the festival and do a little vacationing before returning home.
“I want to show what a beautiful, desirable city we have in the western United States,” said Cacciotti. “I’m looking forward to showcasing our city to the people of China.”