Ozone Action Day Declared, How You Can Help

Ozone Action Day Declared, How You Can Help

(SEMCOG, Aug. 28. 2021)

Saturday, August 28 is the fourth Ozone Action Day of the year in Southeast Michigan. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy meteorologists forecast high temperatures and wind patterns that will push high ozone concentrations into the region. As a result, air quality will be affected.

It is important and impactful when 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 respiratory issues.

“With this ongoing heat wave compounded by air quality issues, we encourage everyone to take care this weekend,” said Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. “By taking a few precautions and minimizing emissions, we are protecting our most vulnerable populations.”

Here are some suggestions that Southeast Michigan residents can follow to help keep the air clean:

~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.

~Drive less, telecommute, bike, or walk. 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. Learn more 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 email notification list should send an email to ozoneaction@semcog.org; put “notification” in the subject line and include name, phone number, and email address in the body of the message.

Those interested can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. In addition to our traditional email 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 28th year of the voluntary program that helps keep Southeast Michigan’s air clean. In 2020, there were nine Ozone Action days.

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