July 3 is an Ozone Action Day. Here’s What that Means…

July 3 is an Ozone Action Day. Here’s What that Means…

SEMCOG, the Southesast Michigan Council of Governments, announces that Wednesday, July 3 is the first Ozone Action day of the year. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy meteorologists predict the warm, muggy conditions to continue. Tomorrow, more sun and a reduced chance of rain make ozone formation probable.

It is always important that local governments, businesses, and the general public do what they can to voluntarily lower pollutant emissions on Ozone Action days when high levels of ozone are expected. Breathing high concentrations of ozone can cause a variety of health problems, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with asthma or other lung diseases.

“We need to do all we can to keep the air clean,” said Kathleen Lomako, SEMCOG Executive Director. “Since the mid-1990s, air quality in Southeast Michigan has improved. That is due, in part, to the actions that residents take on Ozone Action days, giving credence to one of SEMCOG’s key messages — that individual actions taken by many can make a difference. We look for that support again this summer.”

Here are some simple things that Southeast Michigan residents can do to help keep the air clean on the region’s first Ozone Action day of the season:

-Delay mowing your lawn until evening or the next day. Exhaust from your lawn mower and other gas-powered lawn and garden equipment help form ozone.

-Leave your car at home. Instead, take the bus, carpool, bike, walk, or telecommute. You’ll reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as save money. Learn more about Southeast Michigan Commuter Connect.

-Avoid refueling your vehicle during daylight hours. Fumes released at the gas pump contribute to ozone formation.

-Delay or combine errands. This will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

-Reduce electricity use. Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher and turn off lights, computers, and other electrical devices when not in use.

Many of the ozone actions listed above are good ideas to practice every day of the week. Click here for other routine actions that can also help reduce pollution and save money by reducing fuel consumption.

Ozone Action days are announced in area media and other outlets, including electronic freeway message signs. Additional information on Ozone Action days is available on SEMCOG’s website.

Residents wishing to be added to SEMCOG’s Ozone Action e-mail notification list should send an e-mail to ozoneaction@semcog.org; put “notification” in the subject line and include name, phone number, and e-mail in the body of the e-mail.

Those interested can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. In addition to our traditional e-mail notifications, we will use these pages to keep Southeast Michigan residents up-to-speed on a variety of topics related to air quality, including weekly weather forecasts, with frequency increasing as weather conditions dictate.

Air quality is one of the important measures identified in SEMCOG plans and programs for creating desirable communities and a positive regional image for Southeast Michigan. This is the 26th year of the voluntary program that helps keep Southeast Michigan’s air clean. In 2018, there were nine Ozone Action days.

 SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of live for the seven-county region’s 4.7 million people.
To learn more about what SEMCOG does, click here.

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