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Abstract

This paper puts forward a practical strategy for protecting and improving our air quality by combining three inter-related political concepts: 1) ethical principles underlying a well-ordered democratic society; 2) the role of the State as guardian of the public trust; and 3) the importance of citizen action in defining the nature of this trust and ultimately ensuring its protection. It is not intended to be a rigorous legal or philosophical argument. Rather, from the perspective of a public health advocacy organization, it is intended to serve as a useful initial framework within which to consider an agenda to promote healthy air quality. It uses the specific example of outdoor wood boilers to illustrate why this framework is needed and how it can provide useful guidance.

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