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Recipients of South Coast AQMD's 33rd Annual Clean Air Awards

2023 Program & Award Recipients

Maria Quiban is a meteorologist, providing regular daily weather segments on Good Day LA and Fox 11 Morning News. Prior to her work in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, she was the evening meteorologist for NBC Hawaii News 8 in Honolulu. She is also a published author of her book, “You Can’t Do It Alone.”
Tim Kepler was born in Riverside, California and has been singing and composing since age 14. Tim is a Gospel recording artist currently leading worship at New Hope Church in Clovis, CA. He is also the principal National Anthem performer for the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Angels.
U.S. Senator Padilla has long been a champion for clean air in California. Having grown up in a working-class, heavily polluted neighborhood, Padilla knows firsthand what it’s like for families in communities like his to ride in diesel school buses each day breathing toxic fumes, or for children to grow up with higher rates of asthma and respiratory issues. Whether in the Los Angeles City Council, the California State Senate or the United States Senate, Senator Padilla has fought to build a brighter, healthier future for all Americans. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Padilla was proud to help pass the Inflation Reduction Act — the largest investment in history to combat the climate crisis and lower America’s carbon emissions. From leading the charge to transition our nation’s school bus fleet to zero- and low-emission vehicles, to reducing emissions at California’s ports, he’s made real progress for California’s communities. Senator Padilla is bringing local, state, and federal agencies together to give California all the tools it needs to protect the future of our air quality and improve the quality of life for generations to come.
Congressman Lowenthal became involved in local politics because of his concern for health and environmental issues related to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. As a Long Beach Council Member, then State Legislator, and finally U.S. Representative, he has been a leader in promoting policy for environmental responsibility at the San Pedro Ports, fighting to protect the health and livelihoods of his constituents and the region. His landmark environmental legislative efforts have helped lead the ports toward becoming the cleanest and greenest in the world, while also remaining the busiest and most successful container port complex in the Western Hemisphere. His green business model for port operations has become a model for similar facilities throughout the world.
Angie is a long-time resident of San Bernardino County, and Organizer for the Sierra Club My Generation campaign. She is also a former board member for the Inland Region Equality Network, a non-profit social justice advocacy organization. Additionally, today’s honoree has worked as a Special Project Union Representative for the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1167 organizing around labor issues. She is a co-host and Member of the AB 617 San Bernardino, Muscoy Community Steering Committee, a community driven program working to tackle local sources of air pollution. Angie is an active voice in ensuring communities lead the dialogue, priorities, and implementation of environmental justice initiatives including AB 617 efforts. She has worked tirelessly to create a new paradigm for how South Coast AQMD works with communities and shared her expertise regionally and statewide.
Andy volunteered for the Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement where he led youth advocacy and participated in the formation of Sustainable San Gabriel Valley. Sustainable San Gabriel Valley advocates for environmental justice and air pollution issues. He has worked with youth and community members to prevent lane expansions on Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park and promote active transportation solutions and pedestrian safety. This work will lead to safe streets for residents to use active transportation such as biking and walking on Garvey Avenue. Furthermore, he has inspired his peers, community members, and local elected officials to fight for clean air and more livable safe streets in the San Gabriel Valley. He is a freshman at UCLA majoring in Environmental Sciences.
OCTA serves the transportation needs for nearly 3.2 million residents in 34 cities through freeways and express lanes, bus, and rail transit, rideshare, commuter rail, active transportation, and environmental programs for the past 32 years. OCTA is leading the region and the nation through its pilot testing of 10 plug-in battery electric buses including the installation of 10 chargers. In addition, they are operating 10 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses with one of the largest hydrogen fueling stations in the nation. They are demonstrating how zero emissions technology can be operated effectively under real working conditions while achieving significant emission reductions in nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases This work is exemplary as we transition to zero-emissions technologies.
Watts Clean Air & Energy Committee has served communities in South Los Angeles since 2014. Led by Jackie Badejo and Linda Cleveland, Watts Clean Air, promotes air quality, climate and energy awareness for the disadvantaged Watts community and surrounding areas. As a local leader in environmental justice, the organization works to educate residents, including youth, on the effects of air pollution and how to get involved to clean the air through educational outreach programs and community events, such as the Watts National Drive Electric event. Watts Clean Air also provides resources to help their communities access electric vehicles and infrastructure, clean energy, and know their rights to protect their health from issues such as idling diesel vehicles. They have inspired thousands of residents and other non-profit organizations to support clean air. The organization has been a leader in the South Los Angeles AB 617 Community Steering Committee.

Award Recipients

In 1989, the South Coast AQMD hosted the first annual Clean Air Awards and recognized outstanding businesses, organizations, municipalities, and individuals who have championed the southland's fight for clean air. Since then, nearly 300 Clean Air Heroes have been awarded for their efforts to clean the air. Each year, awards are presented in five categories which include Air Pollution Technology, Innovative Transportation Projects, Model Community Achievements, Promotion of Good Environmental Stewardship, and Public Education on Air Quality Issues. In addition to the five awards presented each year, the South Coast AQMD honors two faithful clean air advocates by presenting the Robert M. Zweig, M.D. Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award and S. Roy Wilson Memorial Award for Leadership in Government.

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