For Immediate Release, December 11, 2013

Contact: Rose Braz, (415) 435-6809,  

Falls Church, Va., Becomes 77th Community to Join Call for National Climate Action

State Faces Sea-level Rise, Growing Risk of Climate-related Health Threats

FALLS CHURCH, Va.— Falls Church, Va., has joined scores of other U.S. communities, including two others in Virginia, in supporting use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. The Falls Church City Council, in passing a resolution, became the 77th community to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign. Arlington County and Charlottesville, Va., previously joined the campaign.

“Falls Church is proud to support full implementation of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Council Member Johannah Barry, who introduced the resolution. “The city is already a leader in fighting climate change locally by reducing our own carbon footprint. If we cut greenhouse gas pollution at all levels now we can still avoid the most serious threats of climate change.”

Climate change is hitting Virginia hard. With 32 heat records broken, 2012 was the third-hottest year ever recorded for the state. Rising temperatures bring the threat of additional heat-related illness and deaths, increased air pollution and drought. In Virginia alone more than 150,000 children and half a million adults already suffer from asthma, which could be worsened by climate change.

The water in Chesapeake Bay has already become more acidic due to climate change, and water temperatures have increased by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1960. The Hampton Roads region of Virginia experiences the highest rate of sea-level rise on the Atlantic Coast and is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working across the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and its ability to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The resolutions call on President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action to address climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in 76 other U.S. communities: Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Red Hook and Yonkers, N.Y.; Bloomfield and Hartford, Conn.; Albany, Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, Culver City, San Francisco, San Leandro, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Nashville, Tenn.; Kauai and Honolulu, Hawaii; New Hope Borough, Pittsburgh, Carlisle and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone and Chapel Hill, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Newton, Cambridge, Amherst, Newburyport, Northampton, Williamstown, Great Barrington and Concord, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Keene, N.H.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, South Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa, Hallandale Beach, Gulfport, Broward County, Monroe County, St. Petersburg, Key West and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind.; Woodbridge, N.J.; Portland, Maine; Baltimore, Md.; Arlington County and Charlottesville, Va.; and Washington, D.C. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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