Clean Air Partnership The Clean Air Partnership will be hosting a “VIP Reception” on Thursday, July 8th at the Science Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The reception is being held in an effort to increase the level of awareness of CEOs and senior managers of area businesses and institutions regarding the continued need to address ozone air quality in the greater metropolitan region. To date, nearly 400 local employers are formally participating in either the Clean Air Partnerships Clean Air Coordinator (CAC) or Ridefinders Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) Programs. These efforts involve the education and encouragement of employees to take voluntary measures to improve regional air quality, largely based in the use of car/van pools and mass transit.
Many of these measures are recommended in response to American Lung Associations ozone forecasts that are disseminated to the CACs and ETCs as well as through local news media, roadside message boards and the Science Center overpass to the general public. In an effort to expand Clean Air Partnership participation beyond response to bad ozone forecasts, Dick Fleming, President and CEO of the Regional Commerce and Growth Association, and Honorary Co-Chair of the Clean Air Partnership, made special invitation to several area business and civic leaders to attend the VIP Reception on Thursday. “The reason for this gathering is simple,” Fleming stated. “We want to continue our ongoing efforts to improve the air quality in the region. While we have made great strides bringing the number of bad air days down in the last decade down 80% from the mid-80s there is still more to accomplish.
Not only do we want to assure compliance with all local, state and federal clean air laws, but we also want to do all we can to assure the highest quality of life possible for those who live and work throughout the region.” Through a new “Community Development” committee within the Clean Air Partnership, our business and civic leaders will be encouraged to institutionalize the notion throughout the region that attention to air quality is essential in order to maintain a healthful, as well as economically sustainable, lifestyle in the greater region. Examples of such “institutional” contributions have already been demonstrated by both and Illinois Departments of Transportation in planned deferment of lawnmowing and painting operations on “red” air days, and MSDs postponement of a household hazardous waste collection day until after the ozone season. “Participation does not have to be costly or burdensome. It just takes planning, and some institutional commitment,” Fleming added. That is the point of Thursdays reception.