Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today made the following remarks regarding Committee approval of a bill designed to reduce air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley in California, which faces severe air pollution problems.

Senator Boxer said: "Air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley is putting our most vulnerable people, including our children, at risk. Today the Environment Committee has taken an important step forward by helping the people of San Joaquin Valley to breathe easier."

Senator Boxer is the sponsor of the Air and Health Quality Empowerment Zone Designation Act of 2008, which will allow the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate areas within the San Joaquin Valley as Air and Health Quality Empowerment Zones. The zones will then be eligible for grants to fund replacement or repair of vehicles and engines to reduce air pollution. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.