Although we live in a relatively pristine environment, air quality is an increasingly important issue in the Sierra foothills. As air quality worsens in the San Joaquin Valley, the foothill area experiences the repercussions. Poor air quality not only threatens the health of people in our area, but can also damage our ecosystems. Nearly 60 percent of the air pollution in our area comes from cars and trucks.
Other sources include off-road vehicles, watercraft, lawn and garden equipment, wood stoves and fireplaces (especially inefficient ones), outdoor burning, electrical generation (from non-renewable fossil fuels), industrial sources, consumer products and wildfires. Indoor air quality also affects our overall health and well-being. Smoking; some cleaning products; mold; and off-gassing from paint, furniture and carpeting all contribute to reduced indoor air quality.