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Minneapolis Embraces Clean Air

John Platt, March 16, 2012

Minneapolis has become the 13th and largest U.S. city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s Clean Air Cities campaign, a nationwide campaign urging cities to call on the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use the Clean Air Act to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas pollution.

"In Minneapolis we understand the incredible importance of clean air and the need for federal leadership," city council member Cam Gordon said in a prepared statement. "For more than 40 years the Clean Air Act has helped us protect our air and improve our health. It has been critical to preventing heart attacks, lost work days and asthma attacks. It is time to strengthen — not weaken — the Clean Air Act, and I am proud that our city is joining the effort."

Another city council member, Elizabeth Glidden, discussed the importance of clean air to the people of Minneapolis: "A little more than 11 percent of Minneapolis children under 17 have current asthma symptoms, and an estimated 77,437 people with asthma live in Hennepin County."

Mayor R.T. Ryback put the announcement in perspective: "We are calling on lawmakers to reject any attempt to roll back Clean Air Act protections. We are fighting to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority and the funding to continue protecting public health by reducing both greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and pollutants that harm our air quality in general."

Minneapolis has a few of its own initiatives to protect clean air, including an ordinance that limits idling within city limits, a "Green Fleet" policy, and bike and pedestrian programs.

Photo by Enrico Fuente via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.

Tags: Cities, Civic News, Clean Air, Climate Change, Green Central, Pollution

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