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Government leaders sign clean air declaration

Wednesday, June 7th 2006 2:37:43pm

Participants agree to work towards reducing air pollution emissions

(Toronto, June 7, 2006)  Provincial and municipal government leaders will make clean air commitments, announce new initiatives, share ideas, and sign the Toronto and Region 2006 Intergovernmental Declaration on Clean Air at the 7th Annual Smog Summit today, announced Eva Ligeti, Executive Director of the Clean Air Partnership.

Government leaders invited to speak include Ontario Minister of the Environment, Laurel Broten; Ontario Minister of Transportation, Donna Cansfield; and City of Toronto Mayor David Miller. Special guests include air quality scientist Dr.Greg Evans of the University of Toronto and Lino Luison of Enbridge Gas Distribution.

The Smog Summit draws on the expertise and collective effort of the GTA Clean Air Council, which includes representation from four federal government departments, two provincial government ministries, 21 municipalities and three associate members, to identify and promote the most effective initiatives to reduce air pollution.

“Last year’s record number of smog alerts and air quality advisories created a sense of urgency for a better understanding of the effects of poor air quality,” said Ligeti. “We need to deepen the connection between the quality of our air and individual health.”

The Ontario Medical Association released a report last year detailing the health effects and costs associated with air pollution.  According to the report, smog accounts for nearly 6,000 premature deaths each year, while hospital visits for cardiovascular and respiratory complications will top 16,000 this year. Overall, the accumulated economic cost associated with smog is pegged at nearly $8 billion a year.  Ligeti said with numbers like that, people can’t afford to ignore the smog problem.

The Smog Summit continues today and tomorrow with the Best Practices Exchange. For the first time, there are more than 15 U.S. jurisdictions and the U.S.A. Environmental Protection Agency to identify and select innovative and practical methods to implement across the air sheds of southern Ontario and Midwestern and Northeastern United States.

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Eva Ligeti
Clean Air Partnership
(416) 392-6672 (office)

For more information visit www.cleanairpartnership.org

The Clean Air Partnership is a charitable organization that works in partnership to promote and coordinate improvements to local air quality.  Our sponsors and partners for this event include Enbridge Gas Distribution, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Toronto Hydro, Golder Associates, Warren’s Waterless Printing, Bullfrog Power, and the GTA-CAC.