AACOG Honors City of San Antonio and VIA Metropolitan Transit
The City of San Antonio and VIA Metropolitan Transit are all about going green.
Now, their efforts to do their part to help our environment and in particular our air quality are being recognized by the official state-designated agency tasked with monitoring air quality for the San Antonio region and beyond.
The City’s Office of Sustainability and VIA are the proud winners of this year’s Air Quality Stewardship Awards from the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG). Specifically, the recognition comes from AACOG’s Natural Resources Department, Commute Solutions Program, which works to raise awareness about the nexus between transportation and air quality and promotes alternative transportation options.
Each year, through its Air Quality Stewardship Awards (AACOG) recognizes businesses, agencies, and other organizations that are making outstanding voluntary efforts to reduce air pollution and help improve air quality in our region. The 2018 awardees will be honored at an award ceremony during the San Antonio Fiesta Earth Day event at noon on April 21 in Woodlawn Lake Park.
“Improving our air is a challenge that requires a shared commitment from agencies, businesses and individuals alike,” said Annette Prosterman, AACOG’s Sustainable Transportation Coordinator. “While VIA is helping by providing cleaner buses, for example, businesses might help by subsidizing employee bus passes and individuals might help by taking the bus to work.”
The City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability is recognized for its “Breathe Today, SA Tomorrow” public education campaign, which, through various avenues including TV, radio, print, social media, blogs, community meetings and an Air Quality Summit, created greater community awareness of the need for cleaner air and the ways through which individuals and businesses can help improve it.
VIA Metropolitan Transit is recognized for its commitment to and progress toward its goal to transform its entire fleet of 507 buses from diesel to cleaner, alternative fuels by 2020. The agency converted more than half of its existing fleet to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses over the spring and summer of last year and will add 62 new CNG buses by this July, raising the total to 79 percent of its fleet being converted to CNG, hybrid, or electric.
Past Air Quality Stewardship Award include USAA, CPS Energy, City of Leon Valley, DoSeum, Lake|Flato Architects, Green Vegetarian Cuisine, Pearl Historic Brewery, Build San Antonio Green, Eagle Veterinary Hospital, among many others.
For the past five years, levels of ozone in San Antonio’s air have been measured higher than allowed by federal clean air standards. Prolonged exposure to ground-level ozone particularly threatens the health of children, people who are active outdoors and those with respiratory illnesses.