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First annual Southwestern Ontario Clean Air Summit convened in Woodstock

Thursday, May 21st 2009 10:26:49am

First annual Southwestern Ontario Clean Air Summit convened in Woodstock

Municipalities work together for cleaner, healthier air in Southern Ontario

(Woodstock, May 21, 2009) Today marks the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Municipalities from all over southwestern Ontario gathered in Woodstock for the First Annual Clean Air Summit.

Hosted by the Southwestern Ontario Clean Air Council (SWO-CAC) and the Clean Air Partnership (CAP), and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, this Summit will involve developing goals, priorities and an action plan for the SWO-CAC. Participants will also have an opportunity to share best practices.  

"Air pollution is dangerous, and it affects everyone," remarked Eva Ligeti, Executive Director of CAP.  "It damages our health and our environment and we ignore it at our own peril."

The Ontario Medical Association estimates that, in 2005, air pollution caused 1300 premature deaths and cost the province $112 million in health care costs in Southwestern Ontario alone.  

Southern Ontario faces unique air quality challenges due to its economy and geography. The region is highly industrialized, and experiences substantial trans-boundary pollution because of its proximity to the United States. Summit delegates will forge a municipal alliance to ensure that the Canadian and American governments work collaboratively on the issue.

The summit has attracted interest from beyond Ontario. Representatives from Southeast Michigan are in attendance, along with local, provincial and federal government representatives.

"We're very excited about the summit's potential," Ligeti added. "Air pollution is a solvable problem, but it will require an immense, concerted effort. I think we're seeing the beginning of that effort here."

There are several ways for municipalities to participate in the Clean Air Summit. They can join the SWO-CAC, announce a clean air action in their jurisdiction or just attend the summit to learn how they can fight air pollution.  


Further details are available at: www.cleanairpartnership.org.


To schedule media interviews, please contact:


Gabrielle Kalapos, Clean Air Partnership at 416.948.7125 (on-site cell) or gkalapos@cleanairpartnership.org
Tina Siegel, Environmental Communication Options at 416.972.7401 or tsiegel@ecostrategy.ca


The Clean Air Partnership (CAP) is a registered charity launched in June, 2000. CAP's mission is to work with partners to achieve clean air, facilitate the exchange of ideas, advance change and promote and coordinate implementation of actions that improve local air quality.

CAP provides secretariat services to the Southwestern Ontario Clean Air Council (SWO-CAC) and  convened the inaugural meeting of the Southwestern Ontario Clean Air Council (SWO-CAC) that took place in London, Ontario on March 11th, 2009.