Representatives from the South Coast Air Quality Management District reassured concerned citizens that they are continuing to monitor the air quality in Claremont and the surrounding cities.
A town hall meeting was held in Taylor Hall in Claremont to address the topic of air quality in the East San Gabriel Valley.
The meeting allowed the AQMD to listen to residents’ questions and concerns on the negative effects the poor air quality has on the area.
“We are encouraged by residents who came out tonight, so we know what concerns there are,” board member and Mayor of Chino Dennis Yates said.
A Power Point presentation acquainted the residents to the agency’s purpose and explained the reasons poor air quality exists.
The main problem is the mobile sources such as cars, trains and buses, which contribute over 75 percent of the emissions in the region.
“There is a higher risk value around the freeways because there are many mobile sources around there,” board member Rudy Eadon said during his presentation.
The effect of poor air quality affects everyone, but targets specifically senior citizens or those with respiratory problems such as asthma.
Barbara Moreno said she was there to represent the retirement community of Claremont and is concerned for their health, since they are allowed daily morning walks.
A discussion on initiatives being passed to set guidelines and regulations on local mining companies was an important factor to the improvements being made to clear the air.
“As a mother and hopefully a cancer survivor, I was pleased to hear the new initiatives passed,” said Marylou Ferry, a concerned Claremont resident.
“There’s more and more families here asking to be taken seriously out here and care about the kids,” she added. “My kids are gasping for breath – it breaks my heart.”
Other inhabitants agreed with Ferry and shared personal stories in how they were directly affected and obtained feedback from the representatives of AQMD.
“People’s lungs are burning,” said Marla Law Abrolat, a pediatrician and asthma specialist, “The ozone is higher in Pomona. Asthma symptoms have risen.”
The AQMD reassured the citizens that new regulations would be passed by January 2006 to improve the air quality and limit the objects that harm the ozone layer.
The AQMD is an agency that provides money for studies throughout the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County. They also create new initiatives by cutting emissions from local ports.
They also assist local business owners to be conscious with the issue and helps in environmental justice issues.
To most people air quality is an important issue.
For one resident an analogy is used to compare the problems of unhealthy bad air quality to a disease. His point is that both can be either treated or prevented.
“Prevention is a lot easier than to cure,” Charles Majestro, a resident said. “One way to kill it is to get rid of the disease.”
Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.