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Fresh Air Friday heralds 2017 ozone season with public event

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The Alamo Area Council of Governments and the City of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability are hosting the tenth annual Fresh Air Friday event Friday, March 3, 2017, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Main Plaza in downtown San Antonio.

Fresh Air Friday draws attention to the start of the ozone season, when air pollution is higher than the rest of the year, with a fun, free public event. The purpose of Fresh Air Friday is to provide information on air quality and transportation alternatives and to encourage walking or cycling to lunch.

AACOG Air Improvement Resources (AIR) Executive Committee Chairman and District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg will give a keynote address on air quality, transportation, and sustainable growth in San Antonio. AIR Executive Committee Vice-Chair, Mayor Chris Riley of Leon Valley, will speak following him.

Since 2012, ozone pollution levels have been high enough to exceed clean air standards established by the federal government. Ozone pollution can cause painful and difficult breathing, as well as long-term health effects. A 2016 study by the Alamo Area Council of Governments found that 81% of area residents surveyed were concerned about air pollution in the San Antonio area.

In addition to the featured speakers, Fresh Air Friday will host more than twenty exhibitors from area governmental agencies, non-profits and sustainability-minded businesses. Attendees can stop by booths to learn more about how each organization contributes to better air quality and pick up free promotional items and other giveaways. Attendees are also welcome to take a picture with VIA’s mascot, Primo, and watch San Antonio B-Cycle’s demonstration of their Main Plaza station. Local bands, “Sioux & Fox” and “Shaker Hymns”, will be providing live music, and food trucks will be available on-site.