The Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) held a special meeting November 1, 2011 to discuss the results of the recently ended ozone season and public messaging.
The misinformation presented to the CAC at this meeting was alarming. The public must insist that the Air Board be honest if it is to be taken seriously in it’s role of protecting public health. Information presented at this meeting is a prime example of how the Air Board lies to itself and to the public with repeated omissions, statistical lies, and outright falsehoods.
Point A: In 2007 there were also only 3 days of violations. The initial deadline for compliance with this standard was 1997 so we are already 15 years behind schedule. There were 7 days of violations last year which was when the Air Board had previously assured EPA that they would reach compliance with the standard after many requests for delays. There is really no current indication that these violations will end any time soon.
Point B: The absence of the Arvin Bear Mt monitor and the two-week delay in the almond harvest are obvious explanations for why there were no violations in August. On top of that, 8-hour ozone violations were the worst in 5 years for the month of August. What have they really done that is worth bragging about?
Point C: This is a meaningless statistic and just as misleading as the statement in point B. It is stupid declarations like this that caused the media to make totally false statements about the current summer being the cleanest on record. There were no corrections from the Air Board about this misunderstanding by the media.
Point D: On all three days of violations in 2011 the peaks were above 130 PPB. In 2008, all three days of violations had peaks below 130 PPB. This is just another misleading statement with no real basis in reality.
Point E: Here we have an outright lie since on September 22, 2011 the Fresno Drummond Street monitor violated the one-hour standard for 3 consecutive hours. In both 2008 and 2009, no violation lasted longer than 2 hours.
The rest of the staff presentation, which you may read by following the link above, contains many more examples of an ongoing public misinformation campaign by the Air Board. A few of the more glaring examples:
- Saying the almond harvest started 3 weeks before the end of August is extremely misleading when it was actually 2 weeks behind schedule on average and didn’t reach peak activity levels until September.
- Claiming only valley floor violations should count is outrageous when thousands of people live at, or above, the elevation of the Ash Mt monitor which the Air Board would like to eliminate from the data.
- Total lack of mention of the false, paper only, air quality improvement in Kern County due to the Arvin Bear Mt monitor removal.
- There is also the false but continued insistence that ozone peaks coincide with the opening of school and that the problem can be solved if people would only drive a little less and not idle their cars.