San Joaquin Valley summer air best in 30 years
The San Joaquin Valley enjoyed its best air quality summer in 30 years, air district officials report. Each year, mostly during the summer, the Valley has violated the federal hourly ozone standard an average of 45 days, said officials with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. This year, the standard was broken only nine times. Last year, the Valley broke the standard 37 times. Officials said it was hard to put a finger on the exact reasons for the good air quality numbers. The high cost of gas could have resulted in less driving, and higher awareness among the public of the Valley’s smog problem could have led to smog reducing practices such as carpooling and using bicycles. Meteorologists said this summer was milder and breezier in the Valley because of larger weather patterns that helped mix up the air and spread pollutants around.