2021 Clean Air Awards Winners Announced

On December 3rd, South Coast AQMD honored individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to reduce air pollution and advance the science of air quality to improve the health of our communities and the economy. The 32nd Annual Clean Air Awards was held virtually and attended by 230 guests. Emmy Award-winning meteorologist for NBC4, Shanna Mendiola, served as emcee and Mr. Tim Kepler gave the invocation and closing benediction.

This year’s Clean Air Award recipients are:

S. Roy Wilson Leadership in Government Award
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - 38th Governor of California
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leadership in government and steadfast voice for healthy air and a strong economy helped California lead the way on environmental legislation and continues to help global leaders combat climate change. As Governor, he signed the Global Warming Solutions Act which set a precedent nationally for sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reductions. After his term ended, he co-founded R20, a global nonprofit of subnational governments and regional leaders to address climate change and build a green economy. In 2012, Schwarzenegger founded the University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy which focuses on leadership in education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform. Schwarzenegger continues to use his platform to push for green policies and education on the importance of a sustainable future.

Robert M. Zweig, M.D. Memorial Award
Dr. Ryan Sinclair - Faculty at Loma Linda University School of Medicine Department of Earth and Biological Sciences

Dr. Ryan Sinclair has exhibited a deep commitment to improving public health by reducing air pollution, including research investigating health risks and exposures unique to vulnerable communities. He is collaborating with the Thriving Earth Exchange community science group to build capacity of Eastern Coachella Valley youth in the topics of lake water quality and exposure science. Dr. Sinclair serves on two AB 617 Community Steering Committees in San Bernardino-Muscoy (SBM) and the Eastern Coachella Valley and helped build a community evaluation group to pilot the deployment of air monitors in the SBM area. He is also co-leading the Monitoring Working Team and assessing specific community needs regarding the sustainable use of air monitors from South Coast AQMD and for ECV. Previously, Dr. Sinclair assisted in the AB 1318 mitigation fund process to support organizations and communities most impacted by air pollution.

Inaugural Dr. William A. Burke Award for Leadership in Environmental Justice
Judith Mitchell - Former South Coast AQMD Governing Board Member, Former CARB Board Member, Former Mayor, Rolling Hills Estates

During her tenure on South Coast AQMD’s Governing Board, Ms. Mitchell pushed to transition the RECLAIM program from a cap-and[1]trade system to a more traditional regulatory approach, recognizing the diminishing returns of the program. Ms. Mitchell was appointed to the California Air Resources Board as the South Coast AQMD Representative. As a Rolling Hills Estate Council Member, she was involved with the League of California Cities, including a term serving as the chair of its Environmental Quality Policy Committee, and chair of its Climate Change Working Group. Ms. Mitchell’s work helped advance green technologies and create jobs for the region. Her commitment to clean air policies has left a positive impact on the region’s air quality and public health. Although retired from public office, she continues to be an advocate for clean air for all.

Youth Leadership in Air Quality
Daniel Randall - High School Student

Daniel Randall has demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental stewardship from a young age. Mr. Randall has provided a youth perspective on climate issues and creating a sustainable future for legislators and regulatory agencies. Recently, Daniel worked on California Safe Schools’ Environmental Justice: “Groundtruthing Effort” project, where he identified previously unknown businesses operating in his local community and helped create an easy[1]to-read map to share with regulatory agencies and elected officials. He is also involved in promoting community gardens and creating soil prototypes from food waste to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. Previously, Mr. Randall served as a member of the Jane Goodall Institute’s 2019 National Youth Leadership Council and partnered with TreePeople to plant and care for 85 trees in honor of Dr. Goodall’s commitment to creating a better planet.

Innovative Clean Air Technology
Volvo Group, North America (Volvo)
Volvo has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to improving air quality through innovative clean technology programs. Volvo is currently engaged in three visionary zero-emission technology projects: Volvo LIGHTS, Switch-On, and the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI). Volvo LIGHTS focused on developing and promoting battery[1]electric truck technology, including the product launch and commercial deployment of the Volvo VNR Electric regional hauler, and related facility infrastructure. The Volvo Switch-On project will increase zero-emission technology visibility and promote sustainable practices at the local government level. JETSI is an historic initiative to deploy 100 battery-electric regional haul and drayage trucks across California and is poised to make significant emission reductions along Southern California’s I-710 corridor and improve air quality for local communities.

Leadership in Air Quality
Breathe Southern California (Breathe SoCal)
Breathe SoCal has a strong track record of advocating for clean air and protecting public health for all communities in the South Coast Air Basin. Breathe SoCal advocates for stronger environmental legislation and implemented an “End Diesel Now” campaign to raise public awareness of the negative impacts of diesel emissions on public health. Breathe SoCal has partnered with Electrify America to develop an electric vehicle education program to inform residents of the benefits of clean energy vehicles and their contributions to improving air quality. Breathe SoCal continues to provide strong leadership on air quality issues through their commitment to green solutions and meaningful community partnerships that focus on reducing air pollution and creating a healthy environment for all residents in Southern California.

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