Clean Air Council

History

On August 30th ,1967 the Delaware Valley Citizens Council for Clean Air was officially created by the areas 11 Tuberculosis and Health Associations. The Council’s first actions were to partner with the City of Philadelphia in organizing the regions first Cleaner Air Week celebration and to testify for strong sulfur fuel restrictions in New Jersey.

By 1970, the Council was recognized by the American Heritage Publishing Company as one of the top 12 conservation organizations in the Nation most worthy of public support. That year, the Council also organized a local celebration of the first Earth Day.

In 1975, the Council developed the first regional air quality reporting system called AIRS. This system was regarded as a model air quality index by the Federal government. In 1979, AIRS was merged into the Environmental Protection Agencies Pollution Standards Index and becomes the regional disseminator of that information.

By 1982 the Council had made a big splash on the national legal scene by successfully holding Pennsylvania in contempt of its agreement to conduct vehicle emissions inspections. 1982 was also the year Joe Minott began working as the 7th Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Council, positions he holds to this day. That same year, the Council held its first Run for Clean Air event which has continued every year since.

In 1991, the Council formally broke ties with its founders who had merged together into the American Lung Association. The next year in 1992, the Council celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of concerts and began a dedicated column in local newspapers.

1994 saw the Council move to its present location in Center City Philadelphia along with beginning a concentrated effort to improve residential recycling rates.

In 1998, the Council legally changed its full name to “Clean Air Council” and began a Sustainable Energy Education Program to educate people about their ability to choose cleaner electricity suppliers. The next year, Russ Allen became the 17th Board President of the Council and has remained in that position to this day.

In 2006, the Council began its online advocacy program through a series of e-mailed “Action Alerts”. This was the same year that Philadelphia passed its smoking ban in restaurants and bars. Something the Council had been working towards since 2000.

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