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State of New Jersey-Department of Environmental Protection-Bureau of Stationary Sources
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Monday, May 2: 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 not good for humans, plants, and many materials.

The beginning of ozone season is important to sensitive individuals, including those with respiratory illness and heart disease, 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 help inform 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 utility's 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 3: 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. 7:27-15 “Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution from Gasoline-Fueled Motor Vehicles  N.J.A.C. 7:27-24 “Prevention of Air Pollution from Consumer Products”.

   
Wednesday, May 4: 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. 7:27-15 “Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution from Gasoline-Fueled Motor Vehicles  N.J.A.C. 7:27-24 “Prevention of Air Pollution from Consumer Products”.

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

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Did You Know? New Jersey has made significant progress in reducing fine particulate matter levels in the past 10 years. New Jersey’s air quality monitoring data show a trend over the past decade of improving PM2.5 air quality, as shown below.  This reduction is due to significant decreases over the 10-year period in all six of the primary PM2.5 components: sulfate, organic carbon, nitrate, ammonium, sulfur, and elemental carbon.

 

 

 

Action: Visit www.cleanair.nj.gov for tips on how to help reduce PM2.5 and improve air quality. Follow Air Quality Awareness Week efforts on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NJDEP-Air-Quality-Energy-and-Sustainability-811744782277426/.

NJ Rules and Program(s) to Reduce Your Exposure: N.J.A.C. 7:27-32 “Diesel Retrofit Program,” N.J.A.C. 7:27-14 “Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution from Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicles (Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program),”N.J.A.C. 7:27:29 “Low Emission Vehicle Program.

Friday, May 6: Clean Energy and Air Quality Trends

Did You Know? New Jersey has some of the lowest emitting power plants in the country with respect to criteria pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrous oxide (NOx), as well as the greenhouse gases (GHG’s) such as carbon dioxide. This means cleaner electricity generation in terms of air quality. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, New Jersey’s electric power sector reduced SO2 emissions by 94% and NOx emissions by 56% from 2003 to 2014. This has been attributed to transitioning to a cleaner energy mix in the electric power sector mainly through installation of control equipment on existing power plants, promotion of new natural gas electric generation, increased deployment of renewable energy systems, using nuclear energy as primary source of electric generation, and declining electricity imports. These low levels of emissions are especially impressive given the fact that New Jersey is the 23rd largest generator of electricity in the nation in 2014.

 

 

Action: Take these actions to sustain significant progress in clean energy and GHG emissions reduction:

  • Consider purchasing “Energy Star” labeled appliances and equipment for household and business use.
  • Consider better energy transportation choices, such as carpooling or using public transit.
  • Keep up to date on developments in the field of energy, GHG mitigation, and sustainability. Information on these topics is widely available from state as well as federal sources.
  • Monitor your carbon footprint. Being aware of the impact of our activities and taking appropriate actions. For more information, visit AQES / Bureau of Energy and Sustainability http://www.nj.gov/dep/aqes/index.html.

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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