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Washington, DC Joins Global BreatheLife Campaign for Cleaner Air

Friday, September 22, 2017
Announcement Comes on Annual Car Free Day

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced the District’s designation as a BreatheLife City. A partnership led by the World Health Organization, UN Environment, and Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the BreatheLife campaign aims to connect member cities on best practices for implementing effective long-term solutions to the problem of air pollution.

“As Mayor of our nation’s capital, I have a special obligation to protect our environment for generations to come and to create policies and programs that reflect the values of the residents I serve,” said Mayor Bowser. “In just two and a half years, we have launched Climate Ready DC, entered into one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the U.S., and completed the largest wind power purchase agreement deal of its kind ever entered into by an American city. Today, I am proud to build on this progress by officially announcing the District’s designation as a BreatheLife city.”

The announcement, made on Car Free Day, is part of the Bowser Administration’s continuing efforts to reduce air pollution by emphasizing more efficient mass transit, better land use practices, and reduced vehicle and fuel emissions.

“The U.S. EPA has established health-based standards for six air pollutants and I’m proud to say the District has achieved concentrations below the standards for five of the pollutants, including PM2.5,” said Tommy Wells, Director of DC’s Department of Energy and Environment. “We’re now close to achieving the standards for the one remaining pollutant, ground-level ozone.”

a founding member of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and Chair of the C40 Cool Cities Network, the District has already taken a leadership role in the areas of fugitive emission control and green building design and policy, and this announcement is the most recent in a series of environmental gains under the Bowser Administration. Currently, DC ranks number one in LEED certified square-feet per resident; is number one on the list of EPA’s Top Cities for ENERGY STAR; and most recently, was designated as the world’s first certified LEED Platinum city.