My name is Jennifer Cantley and I am a born and raised Nevadian with 3 beautiful boys. I currently live in Carson City, Nevada, but was raised in Gardnerville Nevada. I had the pleasure of starting the Moms Clean Air Force Nevada Chapter almost 4 years ago, and am currently the Northern Nevada Field Consultant.
Moms Clean Air Force is a nationwide movement of over 1 million moms and dads fighting for climate action and clean air for our kids. In Nevada, as we see dangerous wildfires all around us, it has never been more clear that we must take action to address the climate crisis. Moms Clean Air Force is looking forward to working with Climate Initiative for Nevada on bold action to address this urgent problem.
Recently, Moms Clean Air Force Nevada has been working to advocate for air quality monitors across the state. In Northern Nevada, many rural communities aren’t aware of air quality standards, and they don’t have appropriate air quality monitors. Black, brown, and low income communities in Nevada are also disproportionately impacted by air pollution, and because of lack of air monitoring, they have had no way to prove that their air is unsafe to breathe.
Now, during wildfire season, Nevada is experiencing frequent high ozone days, above the recommended national ambient air quality standard of .07 PPM, set by the Environmental Protection Agency.. We have been seeing high ozone days in Carson City, which is the only rural county that has a ground ozone reader. Even on days without smoke or high heat, we are experiencing high ground level ozone. Nevada families need accurate air monitors in every county in Nevada. Air monitors that not only read ozone levels, but also particulate matter 2.5 and 10. All communities deserve to know what is in the air they are breathing. As parents, we make decisions every day that impact the health and safety of our children. It is vital that we know what is in the air our children are breathing. This is a climate justice issue.
Poor air quality has affected my family and I, in a deeply personal way. About a month ago, due to poor air quality, my son had a severe asthma attack and we almost lost him as he struggled to breath. Because there are no air monitoring systems in Indian Hills, Nevada, we rely on monitors that are 20 miles away. This does not provide for accurate readings, and does not alert us when the air we are breathing is extremely dangerous. This led to the experience that my son and I had, which was terrifying for us both. I am a low income parent and we do not have central air conditioning. It is important that we keep our home cool to help control my son’s breathing issues so we rely on a swamp cooler to cool our house. No mother should have to worry about the air their child breathes. Everyone deserves to know what is in the air they are breathing. As we continue to work alongside our partners fighting for equal access to air monitoring, renewable energy, and transportation, our goal is to become healthier and safer here in Nevada. Inequitable access to air quality monitors is a climate justice issue.