Our Clean Air Awards unite leaders of today and tomorrow and encourage them to forge relationships, spawn new ideas, tackle obstacles and keep momentum toward a clean-air future on track. This year our Clean Air Champions worked tirelessly to commit to sustainable practices in daily operations that support the environment, save energy and improve outdoor air quality.
Join us for:
2017 Clean Air Awards Presentation
Craft beer and farm to fork food from SactoMoFo
Live music from IdeaTeam
Local marketplace curated by Display
Interactive networking space
Raffle and Prizes
2017 Clean Air Champions
Click on each image to learn more about this year's winners.
Lori Lewis, Natomas Unified School District
Supervisor Phil Serna
California State University
Education and Outreach Award
Breathe California Legacy Award
Thursday, May 11, 2017 Sacramento Railyards 5:30 - 9 pm
Doors open at 5:30 pm
2017 Clean Air Awards Presentation at 7:00 pm
Getting to Breathe Fest
If you are driving:
Enter the first driveway on Railyards blvd west of 5th street. Follow the driveway south towards the buildings. This route is represented by the pink arrow above.
If you are biking, walking, or riding Regional Transit:
Make your way to Sacramento Valley station. Cyclists should use take advantage of the free bike valet provided by SABA, as there is no bike parking at The Railyards. Next, take the Steve Cohn Pedestrian Tunnel. This will take you north, where you will exit in front of Breathe Fest. This route is represented by the green arrow above.
Supervisor Serna is passionate about advancing public health and providing for a clean and healthy region. In November of 2016, a two-day Climate Action Plan Workshop focused on engaging the Sacramento community on the issue of climate change was held which Supervisor Serna actively supported and promoted. A main objective of this workshop was to devise ways to reduce the County's GHG emissions. Supervisor Serna also helped cut the ribbon at the "Drive the ARC" opening ceremony in El Dorado Hills which promotes the expansion of electrical vehicles in California by providing more accessible charging stations in and around the region. Supervisor Serna was a vocal proponent of proposition 67, a plastic bag ban ultimately approved by the electorate last November. He has worked closely with State legislators to create a state conservancy for the Lower American River region which provides for natural resource management, a clean environment in the conservancy, and the ability for public access to the area. Preserving and maintaining the natural resources, including trees and vegetation, in the Lower American River region benefits the region's outdoor air quality by capturing and removing air pollutants from the air. Whether through official efforts such as his appointment to the California Air Resources board, or unofficial grassroots efforts within the community, it is clear that Phil Serna is dedicated to supporting the Sacramento area environment and improving outdoor air quality.
Larry Greene is a legacy of leadership in exceptional dedication to improving air quality in the Sacramento region. As executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, and prior service as executive director of the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, Larry serves as both air quality regulator, champion and partnership builder in pursuit of improving air quality. Larry twice served as president of the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) and as co-president of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA). Although his many contributions are too numerous to count, one demonstration of his exceptional leadership is his relentless pursuit of bringing people of different perspectives together to work on common solutions to air quality problems. Larry has won numerous awards and accolades in his career as an air pollution control officer, and has been the driving force in the many air-improving programs supported and implemented by the air district staff, including collaborative work to support local jurisdiction with toxic air contaminants, assessments of air quality impacts and benefits for infill and greenfield development, tools for residential developers to assess diesel fuel emissions and the Spare The Air and Check Before You Burn campaigns. Upon his retirement Larry will leave behind a legacy of two-plus decades of achievement towards clean air progress and air quality management.
Dedicated to improving Natomas Unified School District’s carbon footprint, Lori Lewis has exceeded all expectations in her role as the district’s Environmental Support Manager. With the passing of AB 1826 Lori led the effort to start diverting organic waste from the district’s cafeterias. Ms. Lewis did not just “enforce” the new legislation, however; she encouraged the students and teachers to embrace the change through education and student involvement. She utilized the support of school administrations, custodians and lunchroom staff to separate food waste from other recycling materials and trash. Since piloting the program in NUSD, six campus cafeterias now have fully implemented organic recycling programs and over 200,000 pounds of food waste have been diverted from the landfill. In addition to her work with food waste recycling, Lori is also changing exterior lighting on school campuses from traditional lights to LED and is replacing manual thermostats with wireless programmable thermostats—each saving approximately 700 kWh of energy. Through her commitment to the environment Lori is instilling smart energy choices and a heightened level of commitment and responsibility for our environment.
Sac States’ ‘Closed Loop’ is the innovative, green and air friendly response to California Assembly Bill 1826. Organic waste, when aggregated and covered over in landfills, decomposes anaerobically and produces a methane gas estimated by some studies to be nearly 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Sac State’s ‘Closed Loop’ system addressed that problem by diverting 100% of the food from its Dining Commons to Clean World, a local anaerobic digester that turns food waste into a cleaner burning fuel known as bio natural gas, or Bio-CNG. Sac State then purchases the Bio-CNG from Clean World to fuel their campus shuttle fleet, thereby ‘closing the loop’. Initially, purchasing the clean fuel was more expensive than the diesel previously being used; however with a 95% cleaner burn rate Sac State’s University Transportation and Parking Services Sr. Director, Tony Lucas, made the commitment to keep his fleet fueled with the Bio-CNG. Burning so much cleaner than diesel Mr. Lucas soon realized that the campus was far below the existing threshold for vehicle carbon output allowing for the purchase of two additional shuttle busses to better serve the student population. The success of this program also sewed the idea of expanding diversion strategies to the school's green waste. In 2016, Facilities Management and Academics joined forces to aerobically compost much of its green waste right on the Sac State campus. Aerobic composting produces significantly less methane than anaerobic composting (which is what would happen in a landfill) and since this happens right on the campus, there is no carbon dioxide produced from hauling these materials to a different location. Quite simply: the campus has identified its two main contributions to poor air quality and has created successful programs that will alleviate these problems! Both are examples of Sac State’s commitment to leading by example.
The downtown arena project included air quality measures to reduce construction emissions by requiring the use of a construction fleet with cleaner nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions than the state fleet average. Although unusual to do so, Turner Construction Company contacted the SMAQMD prior to construction to fully understand the air quality measures and to discuss implementation, tracking and reporting. Additionally, Turner dedicated a full time engineer to educate all subcontractors on the air quality measures with a strong stance and focus on using the newest and cleanest construction equipment on the jobsite. Turner discussed this in pre-construction meetings with every subcontractor and worked with each subcontractor to calculate the fleet emissions before bringing equipment to the jobsite. Turner's engineer conducted physical inspections of the equipment and recorded observations to ensure equipment reporting and emission calculations were accurate. Over the course of 23 months, project construction resulted in 11.2 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions. The environmental impact report for the arena project estimated 72.4 tons of nitrogen oxide would be emitted constructing the arena. This is an 85% reduction of emissions! The project on average emitted 33 pounds of nitrogen oxide per day, which is below the SMAQMD's 85 pounds per day threshold. Although a portion of the 85% reduction is a function of the conservative nature of air quality analysis in the planning phase of a project, the SMAQMD staff considers Turner's educational/training efforts the key reason for this tremendous reduction in emissions.