LTE Under Consideration: Austin’s Ozone Action Days

Re: October 15, 22 Article, “City sees record 25 Ozone Action Days”

People suffering from pollen allergies as I do, have an instant physiological effect when ground level ozone increases along with pollens from ragweed, grass, mold, trees and other pollutants. Sneezing, headaches, post nasal drainage and general sense of tiredness are the symptoms that I suffer from even after staying indoors.

It is alarming to have 25 “Ozone Action Days” in just 2022 which tops the combined total for past 8 years. Clearly, Austinites have to pay attention to the Ozone Action Days by taking measures like reduction in use of gasoline powered vehicles, equipment and manufacturing for the short term.

For the long term, we need to transition away from fossil fuels and polluting emissions and invest in clean energy sources. There are incentives in bills passed this year including the Inflation Reduction, Infrastructure and the CHIPs Acts. Continuing on the path will improve our health and quality of life.

Kalpana Sutaria

Project Manager, City of Austin and Member, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Austin Chapter

Submitted to the Austin American-Statesman

December 2022

LTE Under Consideration: Plastic Waste Poses Health Hazards

We are surrounded by plastic. According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature, 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications. At least 12 million tons of plastic end up in our ocean every year, and make up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Marine species ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, which causes severe injuries and deaths. 

Plastic pollution threatens food safety and quality, affects human health, coastal tourism and contributes to climate change.

There are many options we have if we act and ask our leaders to enact laws to ban thin plastics. During my childhood, we rarely used plastic. Practice questioning every plastic item you use like bags, cups, straws, and Styrofoam containers to reduce plastic waste.  Learn more about plastics at: and

Kalpana Sutaria

Project Manager Supervisor, City of Austin and Member, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Austin Chapter

Submitted to the San Antonio Express-News

October 2022

We must find unity on climate change

Climate change has struck us all. Hurricanes, wildfires and floods have struck Democrats and Republicans, supporters of Trump and Biden, young and old, country and city.

The military has identified climate change as a top security threat – for all. The Lancet’s commission on climate change it the “biggest global health threat of the 21st Century” – for all. Economists and business leaders who participated in the World Economic Forum recognize that climate change is the biggest risk to business – for all.

We are divided. We must seek unity in fighting climate change. We must insist that our congressional leaders seek bipartisan solutions to climate change and pass them. For all. Now.

Bob Hendricks

Austin American-Statesman

February 2, 2021