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Profiles of Local Clean Air Innovation: Empowering Communities to Meet the Air Quality Challenges of the 21st Century

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Local governments across the nation are seeking new ways to clean the air and preserve local quality of life as they face tough air pollution challenges. Despite the progress acheived through controlling large smokestack and car emissions under the Clean Air Act, local environmental officials believe that a key component of the clean air equation is still missing: incentives that empower communities to make innovative clean air practices a standard way of doing business. Local officials are uniquely situated to lead these clean air strategies because they understand local conditions and practices. 

Understanding this relationship, NALGEP launched the Clean Air Partnership Project in 1999 to identify promising clean air approaches at the local level and to promote federal and state policies and programs that can foster these approaches. To produce the Profiles of Local Clean Air Innovation report, NALGEP convened a Clean Air Task Force, comprised of 32 of the nation's leading local government environmental officials. The findings in this report propose many promising ideas for for local communities, including 10 recommended actions for promoting community-based air innovation through new partnerships among local, state, and federal government as well as the private sector and nonprofit organizations. The report also profiles 20 local governments who are working to improve public health and air quality with voluntary, beyond compliance approaches implemented at the community level.