LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The state's 10,000-vehicle fleet will be exchanged for low-polluting or nonpolluting cars beginning next year, officials said.
"Smog caused by tailpipe emissions combined with recent heat storms throughout the state has made the air we breathe sickening to children, seniors and people with respiratory problems," said Barry D. Keene, director of the Department of General Services.
Under the move announced Wednesday, 2,500 of the state's fleet will convert to gasoline-powered cars that release up to 90 percent fewer pollutants. The other 7,500 vehicles are already required by a federal law to be powered by alternative fuels, including nonpolluting electric cars, said department spokesman Ken Hunt.
An average of 1,400 vehicles will be replaced each year.
Last year, Houston overtook Los Angeles as the nation's smoggiest city. Houston had 52 days in which ground-level ozone, the main ingredient of smog, was above the maximum set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Los Angeles had 43 such days.
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