South Pasadena first in the nation to use 100% emission free maintenance equipment

South Pasadena celebrated the City’s certification as an AZGA Green Zone® City

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PHOTOS: Bill Glazier | Editor in Chief South Pasadena Review

City of South Pasadena, Elected Officials, and Health and Environmental Organizations Celebrate City’s Certification as Nation’s First AGZA Green Zone® City

The City of South Pasadena, joined by Assemblyman Chris Holden, the American Lung Association and environmental organizations, today celebrated the City’s certification as an AZGA Green Zone® City.  The new initiative will bring air quality and noise benefits to city residents, employees, gardeners, businesses, and visitors.  The certification was from the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), a sustainability consultancy that provides certification and accreditation in zero-emission landscape maintenance strategies.  The City is the first in the nation to convert all of its park and median maintenance to emission and gas-free equipment.

“The actionsSouth Pasadena Review 09-09-2016 south pasadena agza green zone we are celebrating today will affect more than 41 acres of City-owned land and will avoid more than 31 tons of pollutants per year from being emitted into the air, resulting in immediate health benefits for residents, businesses, and visitors,” said Michael Cacciotti, the mayor pro tem of the City of South Pasadena and also a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board, representing 34 cities.  “We’re proud to have partnered with AGZA to provide cleaner air and more peace and quiet to everyone who lives in, works in, or visits South Pasadena.”

The celebration took place at the City’s Arroyo Park, one of the larger parks that will benefit from the new program.  Eligible riding mowers were displayed at the celebration, along with other “green” equipment.

South Pasadena Review Chris Holden AGZA Ceremony“I congratulate the City of South Pasadena for becoming the first city in the nation to maintain their parks one hundred percent gas and emissions free,” said California Assembly member Chris Holden, whose district includes the City.  “South Pasadena is paving the way for other cities to follow when it comes to protecting the environment.”

South Pasadena Mayor Diana Mahmud kicked off the program by noting that she’s “very proud to be mayor of a city that continues to lead in so many ways.  We should all be proud of this great accomplishment.”

All in all, the City will be maintaining 13 properties and 62 medians with gas- and emission-free equipment.  This includes the City’s largest parks, including Arroyo Seco, Garfield, Orange Grove, Eddie Park, and Heritage Park, plus other municipal properties, such as the War Memorial, Library Park, City Hall, and two water tanks.

“As one of the nation’s leading advocates for clean air, we are pleased to praise the City’s leadership,” said Anthony Ortiz-Luis, Community Engagement Director, American Lung Association.  “Particulate pollution has long been identified as a leading cause of lung cancer, and by eliminating pollution from small gasoline engines, the City will be helping in the fight against this terrible disease.“

Covered under the new policy will be more than 20 acres of turf mown and trimmed, more than 15 acres of hardscape blown, almost 1 acre of hedging surface area, and over 7 linear miles of edging.

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AGZA and the City estimate that more than 31 tons of pollutants will be avoided each year.  Pollutants eliminated include carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas contributing to global warming), carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas and secondary GHG), hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen oxides (major components of smog), and particulate matter (2.5 and 10 microns), which cause respiratory problems including asthma, lung disease, emphysema, and lung cancer.

“We work to clean up our air, fight climate change and improve public health. South Pasadena’s actions are great steps in that direction,” said Fabiola Lao, Deputy Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air. “By electrifying their garden and maintenance equipment, the city is reducing harmful pollutants that form smog and contribute to climate change. We look forward to other cities across the state to follow South Pasadena’s lead.”

“Fighting for better air for all is a cornerstone of the Sierra Club’s environmental work, and cleaner lawn maintenance equipment can make a big difference,” said Angelica Gonzalez, Conservation Program Manager, Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.  “The City of South Pasadena is taking a great step today and setting an example for the rest of the nation.”

“Quiet, emissions-free maintenance is better for the workers, the environment, public health, and overall quality of life,” said Jamie Banks, Science Advisor, American Green Zone Alliance.  “AGZA’s Green Zone initiative in South Pasadena has shed light and created a solution for the often overlooked grounds maintenance industry.”

“The certification of the world’s first AGZA Green Zone City in South Pasadena represents a milestone step in evolving the grounds maintenance industry to a cleaner, quieter, healthier and more sustainable future,” said Dan Mabe, Founder American Green Zone Alliance.

About the City of South Pasadena

The City of South Pasadena is a charming community, situated only six miles from downtown Los Angeles. Called the City of Trees, the area is known for its stunning homes, unique small businesses, and top quality schools. South Pasadena’s diverse population of about 25,000 occupies a mere 3.44 square miles of flatlands and hillsides on the west side of the San Gabriel Valley. This small town atmosphere makes South Pasadena one of California’s most desirable locations.   More than 100 acres of parks and playgrounds blanket its landscape and more than 21,000 trees adorn its streets.

About the American Green Zone Alliance

The American Green Zone Alliance is the global leader in zero-emission sustainable grounds maintenance strategies. Our mission is to transition the lawn care and grounds maintenance of all communities away from noisy, dirty fossil fuels and into quieter, zero-emission electric operations. AGZA Green Zones® are better for worker health and community noise levels, and verify the elimination of toxic waste streams, local smog, and greenhouse gasses during groundskeeping.  The savings on gas, oil, and maintenance slash hourly operational costs. And the compounding benefits for communities that make a permanent shift to sustainability are incalculable.

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