New ozone standards and clean energy

The San Joaquin Valley is basically a big bowl that serves up a mix of nasty air during the hot summer. And the Environmental Protection Agency isn't happy.

“Air quality in the San Joaquin Valley is consistently among the worst in the nation,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the Air Division for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “New and modified facilities will now be subject to the most stringent requirements, which will contribute to the health of our communities.”

In addition, the U.S EPA revised the state’s Clean Air Plan to make it consistent with state law, which requires permitting of agriculture facilities emitting more than 5 tons per year of ozone producing pollutants.

What that means, says Mark Grossi of The Fresno Bee, is that Valley businesses could spend billions of dollars trying to meet a new stricter 2031 deadline - which is 30% more restrictive than an established 2024 threshold.

Grossi quotes Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, who says the Valley would have to eliminate gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels in industries and vehicles.

All that makes a pretty compelling argument for more green-energy measures in the Valley, which the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization supports.