To the Editor:
Every day, residents of our region are subjected to air quality that has received an F rating from the American Lung Association. As the representative of approximately 63,000 people in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax, I am concerned about the impact of poor quality air on you and your family's health and longevity.
Our poor air quality puts our children and seniors at increased risk for health issues. Every time they or someone with asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease breathes in our dirty air, the poor quality of our local air means their health is more at risk than someone living in the country. But we don't all have the option to move to the country.
There is work we can do locally to help with this. As councilman for the City of Alexandria, I helped launch Eco-City Alexandria, a program that helped Alexandria achieve a 48 percent recycling rate, extended Capital Bikeshare to Old Town, and saw the closure of an outdated and polluting power plant on the Potomac River. We can all walk and bike more. We can work to reduce our energy use. We can also ask the Federal government to help.
That’s why I, and many others, have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt cleaner gasoline and vehicle emissions standards. Doing so would have the immediate equivalent impact of taking an astonishing 33 million passenger vehicles off the road and nationally would save 2,500 lives every year.
Every family likely has at least one person whose life and health is jeopardized by air pollution. Our regional air quality is threatening to people’s lives and health. But we know we can make progress on air quality, While our region's air isn't what it needs to be, the American Lung Association has shown that we've come a long way to cleaner air in the past 14 years. We need to keep working at this. In addition to doing more locally, join me in asking EPA to adopt cleaner gasoline and vehicle standards. The improvements we make in air quality can save a life.
To join the fight for healthy air, go to:
State Delegate (D-45)