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Additional Resources

The City of Cleveland's ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE DIRECTORY provides links and contact information for many useful community, conservation, environmental and governmental organizations.


To Reach US Senators and Representatives

To identify your state and federal elected officials visit www.congress.org and enter your zip code.

To reach U.S. Senators and Representatives
U.S. Capitol Switchboard:
202-224-3121

U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
www.senate.gov

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
www.house.gov

To reach the White House
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
202-456-1414
president@whitehouse.gov

To reach State Senators
Ohio Statehouse
Columbus, OH 43215

To reach State Representatives
Ohio House of Representatives
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43266-0603

To reach the Governor
Gov. John Kasich
77 South High Street
30th Floor, Riffe Center
Columbus, OH 43266-0601
(614) 466-3555


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Caution: Don’t breathe in Northeast Ohio

January/February 2007

Photo credit: Ian Britton freefoto.comBreathing in Northeast Ohio may be hazardous to your health. The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is trying to fix that, and could use your help.

Little particles floating through Ohio’s air get sucked into our air passages daily. They are mostly soot from burning coal or diesel fuel. It’s not the pieces you can see floating through the air that are a problem, which are usually filtered by your nose and throat anyway. It’s the “invisible” microscopic particles that are settling into your lungs to stay a while and possibly cause or aggravate asthma, lung diseases, and heart problems; not to mention that some particles could also hold metals and metal oxides.

Most of this particulate matter (with the worst trouble-makers called PM2.5, from their size of 2.5 micrometers) comes from burning coal in our power plants and from burning gasoline and diesel in vehicles, generators, and the like. Coal, gasoline, and diesel are fossil fuels.

The U.S. EPA has declared seven counties of Northeast Ohio as being “out of attainment” under the Clean Air Act for these small PM2.5 particles. This includes Ashtabula (partial), Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties.

Potential solutions include plug-in power at truck stops to reduce diesel emissions while truckers sleep and anti-idling restrictions; and renewable power options such as wind and solar are also under discussion. Technology and regulatory suggestions such as these will go to the Ohio EPA as recommendations for its State Implementation Plan. If adopted, Northeast Ohioans will see these beneficial suggestions become a reality and can begin breathing healthier, cleaner air.

If we fix the PM2.5 problems, we also help alleviate regional climate change problems. Cleaning up PM2.5 by reducing and replacing fossil fuel burning also reduces carbon dioxide, our most notorious greenhouse gas. This curbs acid rain by reducing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. It also reduces mercury emissions that are getting into our Lake Erie and Ohio stream fish, threatening brain development of our youngest Ohioans.

You can help by contacting the offices of Governor-elect Ted Strickland, Lt. Governor-elect Lee Fisher in the governor’s office, Senator-elect Sherrod Brown, and Senator George Voinovich to promote funding and tax breaks for renewable power, alternative fuels and hybrids, and energy efficiency; and for regulations to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Also, visit this website to reduce energy usage at home and in the office: http://www.eere.energy.gov/. Click on “Consumers” on the right-hand column.

To come and listen in during a meeting or to join one of the working groups for stationary sources, mobile sources, long-range planning, etc., email Amy Wainright at awainright@mpo.noaca.org. For a Sierra Club contact, please email Linda Sekura.

PM2.5 maps for northeast Ohio: http://ohioair.info/quality/currentmappm25.asp

NOACA’s webpage at www.noaca.org/pmsipplan.html

USEPA’s PM2.5 webpage at http://www.epa.gov/pmdesignations/

Photo credit: Ian Britton freefoto.com

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Calling All Local Issues

Do you know of a local environmental issue in need of attention? Do you have inside information on what's going on in your city or township? With over 5,000 members in Northeast Ohio we count on you to be the Club's eyes and ears of the region. While the Federal government and large corporations continue to wreak havoc on our environment, it is more important than ever before to act as watchdogs in our own backyards.

If you know of a local environmental issue in need of observation or action, please contact the Conservation Committee - Dennis Plank (216) 939-8229.

Remember, no obstacle too great when passionate communities unite.

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Activist Calling Instructions

For those new to calling state or federal representatives, it's easier and less confrontational than it sounds. You will never speak directly with your rep or senator - an aide will answer the phone, take brief notes plus your name and city (sometimes), and that's it.

When calling either state or federal government offices, you will not need to go into detail or defend your position. No one will ever argue with you. They may ask questions to clarify what issue you support or don't support. But it's usually as simple as saying: "Please let my rep know that I want him/ her to support Bill number XX" (if there is a number), or "green building standards in schools", or "more renewable energy"; or "I do not want the US to drill for oil in ANWR!" The staff taking the calls are there to receive your information and forward it on or to provide information you request. They will not question what you support or your beliefs. You will never know if they personally do not agree with you.

One phone call is a lot more important than you may think! A long-time aide in Washington explained that, if a congress person receives many calls at their office, the aide will actually call the congress person on their cell phone, even if they're on the floor of the Capitol, debating. When asked, "How many is a lot?" her response was, "About 20." Your one call can make a difference.

For updates on Sierra Club legislative priorities call 202-675-2394 or log on to www.sierraclub.org

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