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2002 Clean Air Champion Award Goes to Oakland International Airport's Renee Dowlin

2002 Clean Air Champion Award Goes to Oakland International Airport’s Renee Dowlin

Press Releases
April 14th, 2003

Contact: Oakland International Airport
Cyndy Johnson (510) 563-2820
Rosemary Barnes (510) 563-2892
After Hours (510) 563-3360
East Bay Clean Cities Coalition
Chris Ferrara (925) 674-6533

OAKLAND, Calif., April 14, 2003 — The East Bay Clean Cities Coalition has given its 2002 Clean Air Champion Award to Renee Dowlin, an environmental planner in Oakland International Airport’s Noise Abatement/Environmental Office.

Dowlin was honored for her efforts in promoting and increasing the use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles by the airport, a revenue division of the Port of Oakland, and an independent department of the City of Oakland.

Renee is a steadfast environmentalist and a real asset to the Oakland community and the Port of Oakland,” said Chris Ferrara, East Bay Clean Cities Coalition coordinator.

Oakland International Airport’s commitment to clean air programs dates back to 1999 when the Port of Oakland began purchasing alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars and vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas, for its own fleet. Today, Oakland International has stricter requirements for the use of alternative fuels than any other Northern California airport.

Among the successful clean air programs at the airport are the following:

  • Opening of a compressed natural gas (CNG) station at the airport for public use.
  • A requirement that at least 50 percent of taxis and 25 percent of door-to-door shuttles use alternative fuels.
  • Obtaining grant funding towards the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles for the Port and private operators at the airport such as taxis and door-to-door shuttles.
  • Increasing the number of alternative fuel vehicles used for airport business.
  • Acquiring the donation of 30 neighborhood electric vehicles from Ford for use at Port and airport facilities.
  • Creating a low-cost, low-finance program for Port employees to purchase alternative fuel vehicles for personal use.

Dowlin also was instrumental in installing recycling bins in the airport passenger terminals.

Both the airport and the Port of Oakland are committed to sustainable operations and development,” said Steven Grossman, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland. “Renee has been instrumental in creating programs such as the CNG station that serve the entire community, as well as the airport and its tenants and employees.

Natural gas vehicles, for example, produce fewer pollutants than conventional gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles and have no evaporative emissions, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The fuel also is usually less expensive than gasoline and diesel.

In addition to airport programs, the Port of Oakland has an $8.9 million air quality mitigation program that focuses on reducing particulate matter emissions from diesel engines at maritime facilities. The AC Transit regional bus system last year presented the Port of Oakland with a special award recognizing its role in helping AC Transit replace engines in 28 local buses with cleaner engines.

Other environmental programs include wildlife habitat enhancement, creating public access to the shoreline, and reuse of construction and demolition debris generated by Port projects.

Bucking national trends, passenger traffic at Oakland International Airport had double-digit growth in 2002, up 11.5 percent over the previous year to 12,723,777 passengers, despite the continuing weak economy and a severe downturn in the aviation industry financial picture. This was the first time in the airport’s 75-year history that it averaged a million passengers a month.

Oakland International Airport has 200 flights a day on 14 domestic and international carriers to 38 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, New York, Washington, D.C., the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica (service begins May 2003). For information on alternative transportation to/from the airport, call 1-888-IFLYOAK (435-9625). Once at the airport, motorists can tune to 1700 AM for current airport traffic, parking and security information. Visit www.oaklandairport.com for additional information.

The East Bay Clean Cities Coalition is a nonprofit corporation with members from private and public agencies, including the Port, that are committed to reducing our nation’s dependence on imported petroleum and helping clean up the air. Clean Cities is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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