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State of New Jersey-Department of Environmental Protection-Bureau of Stationary Sources
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Monday, May 1: Why is the beginning of Ozone Season Important?

Did You Know? Ozone is a gas that is found in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground-level. Ozone found in the upper atmosphere, called the stratosphere, is good because it protects the earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Ozone near the ground is bad for humans, plants, and many materials.

The beginning of ozone season is important to sensitive individuals, including those with respiratory and heart illness, older adults, young children and people who are active outdoors. Elevated levels of ozone occur with the onset of warm weather and exposure to these levels can trigger health problems, such as chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion in these individuals. It can also worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Air Quality Awareness Week is timed to the beginning of the ozone season to educate these individuals and the general public on what they can do to protect themselves from the health impacts of ozone.

Actions:  Take these actions to reduce the effects of “bad” ozone:

  • Conserve or reduce energy at home and the office. Participate in your local utilities energy conservation programs. This will reduce the pollution from power plants.
  • Keep cars, trucks, gas-powered lawn and garden equipment properly tuned and maintained to reduce air pollution.
  • Fill your gas tank during the cooler evening hours and be careful not to spill gasoline.   
  • Reduce driving. Carpool, use public transportation, walk, or bicycle to reduce ozone pollution, especially on hot summer days.
  • Use household and garden chemicals wisely. Use paints and solvents with little or no volatile organic compounds. Be sure to read labels for proper use and disposal.

For more information, visit www.cleanair.nj.gov. Follow this effort on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NJDEP-Air-Quality-Energy-and-Sustainability-811744782277426/.

NJ Rules and Program(s) to Reduce Your Exposure:
New Jersey’s Air Quality; http://www.njaqinow.net/, N.J.A.C. 7:27-24, “Prevention of Air Pollution from Consumer Products”.

Tuesday, May 2: Health Effects of Air Pollution – Asthma and Air Quality

Did You Know? Ground-level ozone, also known as smog, is one of the pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in New Jersey. Ozone is linked to many adverse health impacts, including asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

Ozone damages lung tissue and reduces the lung’s ability to work properly.  As the air enters the lungs, ozone irritates the lining of the lungs’ passageways.  The resulting swelling in the lungs makes it more difficult to breathe, in addition to causing muscle spasms and excess mucus. Plants and other ecological systems are also susceptible to smog, which can cause discoloration and damage to plants by impacting the natural photosynthesis process. Ozone also damages rubber and other materials.

Actions: Take these actions to reduce your exposure to ozone and improve air quality:

           Protect yourself  

  • Limit outdoor activities especially sensitive individuals, such as older adults, children, and  people with lung diseases, including asthma and emphysema.
  • Avoid over exertion.

           Do your part 

  • Delay mowing your lawn until the air quality is healthy again.
  • Refuel your vehicle at night time, and stop at the click.
  • Carpool or use public transportation.
  • Do not idle vehicles.

 

For more information, visit www.cleanair.nj.gov. Follow this effort on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NJDEP-Air-Quality-Energy-and-Sustainability-811744782277426/.

NJ Rules and Programs to Reduce Your Exposure: N.J.A.C. 7:27-19 “Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution from Oxides of Nitrogen”N.J.A.C. 7:27-24 “Prevention of Air Pollution from Consumer Products”.

   
Wednesday, May 3: Air Quality Trends – Ozone, the past 10 years

Did You Know? Efforts to reduce ground-level ozone in New Jersey have been focused on reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen. Studies have shown that this approach should lower peak ozone concentrations, and it appears to have been effective in achieving that goal. As shown in the chart below, New Jersey ozone design values have decreased steadily in the past 10 years in New Jersey. Design value is a statistical formula used to ensure compliance with air quality standard.

 

Action: Visit www.cleanair.nj.gov for tips on how to help reduce ozone and improve air quality.>Follow this effort on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NJDEP-Air-Quality-Energy-and-Sustainability-811744782277426/.

NJ Rules and Programs to Reduce Your Exposure: N.J.A.C. 7:27-19 “Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution from Oxides of Nitrogen”N.J.A.C. 7:27-24 “Prevention of Air Pollution from Consumer Products”.

Thursday, May 4: Air Quality trends – Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5), the past 10 years

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Did You Know? In New Jersey, emissions from cars and light trucks account for about 30% of the hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NOx) that cause ground-level ozone or “smog”. In addition, about 40% of New Jersey’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, mostly from on-road gasoline vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) are a vital part of the future of clean transportation, and they are here now! As of June 2016, there were 9,065 electric vehicles in New Jersey. Electric Vehicle sales in New Jersey have more than quintupled since 2012.

 

Includes battery EVs, plug-in hybrid EVs, and neighborhood EVs.

Action: Consider an electric vehicle when it’s time for your next vehicle purchase. The website Drive Green New Jersey can help you decide which Electric Vehicle is right for you. Assess the affordability, find state and federal incentives, learn about charging options, and locate the closest charging station at www.drivegreen.nj.gov. Follow Air Quality Awareness Week efforts on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NJDEP-Air-Quality-Energy-and-Sustainability-811744782277426/.

Additional Resources: U.S. Department of Energy’s Electric Vehicle Everywhere  http://energy.gov/eere/eveverywhere/ev-everywhere-all-electric-and-plug-hybrid-electric-cars,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Vehicle Guide  https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/explaining-electric-plug-hybrid-electric-vehicles

Friday, May 5: Clean Energy and Air Quality Trends

Did You Know? Although New Jersey has some of the lowest emitting power plants in the country, energy consumption is one of the big causes of air pollution. Power plants release criteria pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), plus greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide. There are many ways to reduce energy use at home and work, such as turning off “vampire” electronic devices. These are devices that continue to consume or suck energy even when turned off. They can account for as much as 10% of the energy used in a home, and the average American household has about 25 consumer electronic devices!  

 
 

 

Action: Contact NJDEP at Melinda.dower@dep.nj.gov  to get a copy of the Energy Vampire Sticker Challenge, which include stickers of Zap to place on each energy sucking electronic device in your household to remind you to turn off the device when not in active use. You may want to put these devices on a power strip or light switch to make it easier to turn them off and reduce pollution:

  • Extra refrigerator in the basement or garage that you use rarely or could live without (older appliances are the highest energy users and some utilities pay to dispose of them)   
  • Plasma TV
  • TV cable box
  • Desktop or laptop computer, computer monitor
  • Laser printer
  • DVD player or VCR
  • TV game console
  • Cell phone chargers

 

Additional Resources: NJ BPU’s Clean Energy Program: http://www.njcleanenergy.com/, Green Driver State Incentives in New Jersey http://www.dmv.org/nj-new-jersey/green-driver-state-incentives.php, Federal Department of Energy http://energy.gov/savings, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency carbon calculator http://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/.

 

 

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