Image source does not exist News Release: 2011-01-18 ARB seeks air quality heroes

Release #:11-02

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Dimitri Stanich

ARB seeks air quality heroes

Deadline for Haagen-Smit nominations fast approaching

SACRAMENTO - Today the Air Resources Board reminded the public that the nomination deadline for the 2010 Haagen-Smit award is January 28. The Haagen-Smit award is given annually to those individuals who have made significant contributions to cleaning the air and reducing air pollution.

The award honors the memory of Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit, the father of air pollution controls, by ceremonially recognizing those that continue his work through perseverance, leadership and innovation in the areas of research, environmental policy, science technology, public education, or community service. The selection committee is comprised of past award winners.

“The Haagen-Smit awards allow California the opportunity to thank those who have advanced the cause of protecting public health by reducing air pollution,” said ARB Executive Officer James Goldstene. “Their work saves lives and improves the quality of life in California. These dedicated individuals deserve to be recognized.”

The awards are named after Arie Jan Haagen-Smit, Ph.D., a Dutch chemist best known for linking smog to automobiles. An avid gardener in the Los Angeles region, Dr. Haagen-Smit first became concerned about damage to his plants, including discolored leaves and undersized flowers. His curiosity led to a series of experiments that uncovered the chemical interactions that lead to the formation of smog and demonstrated that most of California's smog is the result of the exhaust from motor vehicles and industrial facilities reacting with sunlight to create ozone. This break-through is the foundation upon which today's air pollution standards around the world are based.

The 2010 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award nomination period is from December 17, 2010, through January 28, 2011.

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.