Santa Barbara Car Free partners were honored at a special celebration. Pictured above, from left to right. Back row: Kiki Ander, Shannon Brooks (Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau); Laura Kath (Mariah Marketing, Project Promotions Coordinator); Cynthia Boche (Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District); Lori Casillas (The Grapeline Wine Country Shuttle); Carol Crego (Amtrak); Kent Epperson (Traffic Solutions); Kate Schwab (Santa Barbara MTD): Greg Gorga (Santa Barbara Maritime Museum); Wilson Hubbell, Ralph Fertig (Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition); Michael Chiacos (Community Environmental Council); Matt Dobberteen (County of Santa Barbara Public Works); Mary Harris (Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association); Sarah Grant (City of Santa Barbara Transportation); Millie Matz (Santa Barbara Hotel Group); Gary Coombs (South Coast Railroad Museum). Front row: Connie Casebier (Cheshire Cat Inn); Rebecca Johnson (Inn of the Spanish Garden); Jayne Brechwald (Coalition for Community Wellness); Lee Moldaver (Coalition for Sustainable Transportation); Drew Wakefield (Ramada Limited Hotel); Annmarie Rogers with bike helmet (Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center); Mary Byrd (Santa Barbara Car Free Project Manager with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District); Karen Kukurin, (Deputy Director with Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Office); Kathy Janega-Dykes (Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau); Brian Hart (Amtrak).

USEPA photo by Eric Vance

Above (left to right) Gina McCarthy (then-Assistant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, currently Administrator), former District Director Terry Dressler, and Mary Byrd, Manager of the Santa Barbara Car Free project.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2010

Contact: Terry Dressler, Director, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, 805-961-8853

Mary Byrd, District Public Information Officer and Santa Barbara Car Free Project Manager, 805-961-8833, [email protected].

See more information on the project on the Santa Barbara Car Free website:  www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (District) today announced that its Santa Barbara Car Free project has received a national 2009 Clean Air Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The District is one of only fifteen award recipients from around the country that were honored at a May 26, 2010 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

California 23rd District Congresswoman Lois Capps remarked, “I am very proud of the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District and the Santa Barbara Car Free Project and its many partners. It’s good to see the Project’s work for sustainable tourism – and a sustainable community – honored with this national award.”

District Director Terry Dressler said, “We are so honored to be selected for this award. We thank our area partners for the outstanding collaboration that has made this project possible.”  Santa Barbara Car Free was honored in the Community Action category. The Project, founded in 1998 and led by the District, is supported by the City of Santa Barbara, Amtrak California® and more than 100 partners – business, organizations, and individuals – working together to promote car free travel to and around Santa Barbara for cleaner air and a healthier planet.

Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, said,  “Innovation and commitment are the keys to environmental progress, and our Clean Air Excellence Award winners are tremendous examples. As we look to the future, these winners will help lead the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment.”

The Clean Air Excellence Awards Program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, annually recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air. Award-winning entries must directly or indirectly reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes, and provide a model for others to follow.

Santa Barbara Car Free partners will be honored at the District’s Board meeting June 17, 2010 (1:30 PM at the Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara).   For more information see the EPA website http://www2.epa.gov/caaac/clean-air-excellence-awards and visit  http://www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org.