THE DELAWARE VALLEY AIR QUALITY PARTNERSHIP
The Air Quality Partnership is a network of environmentally conscious agencies working to improve air quality in the Delaware Valley. Air Quality Action Advisories are sent out via e-mail to partner agencies when ground level ozone and/or particle pollution levels are forecasted to be unhealthy. These advisories are not only a health warning, but a reminder to initiate actions that help reduce further air pollution.
For more information about particle pollution, ground level ozone, their health effects, and ways to help reduce emissions, refer to our online air quality resources. It all adds up to cleaner air!
BECOME AN AIR QUALITY PARTNER:
Keep your employees and clients informed on air quality conditions in the region. Register to receive Air Quality Action Alerts when unhealthy conditions are expected.
Does your company take action? Let us know what your agency is doing to reduce emissions and improve air quality. Become an Air Quality Partner and get the credit you deserve!
Participation in the Air Quality Partnership and its programs are entirely voluntary and our success depends on everyone sharing the responsibility. If you would like your organization to be recognized as an Air Quality Partner, registration is fast and free. You will receive information on the effects of air quality and promotional materials to help spread the word to your employees.
TIPS TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION
In the summer when ozone levels are highest you can:
Take Transit: ride the bus, train, subway or trolley to work
Rideshare: join a carpool or vanpool
Telecommute: work from home and spend your extra commute hours with your family
Trip-link: do all errands at one time, avoiding unnecessary cold starts. An engine that’s been sitting for an hour or more pollutes five times as much as a warm one.
Refuel at the end of the day. Ozone levels are usually at their highest in the mid- to late afternoon, and pumping gas emits roughly five tons a day of pollution into the air. So, save your pumping until evening.
Don’t “top off” your fuel tank. This is never a good idea, no matter what time of day. Spillage adds about two tons of pollution a day to our air.
Turn off your engine when you stop your car for a minute or more.
Postpone mowing the lawn until late in the day or use a manual or electric mower instead. (And remember to refuel mowers and other gasoline-powered tools after dusk too.)
Start your barbecue with an electric probe, charcoal “chimney” or use a gas grill. Charcoal lighter fluid vaporizes quickly and adds to air pollution.
Use latex paints -rather than oil-based-and avoid daytime use of pollutants.
Many summertime tips to prevent air pollution can also be done in the winter to help reduce particle pollution.
Use wood stoves and fire places wisely and sparingly. If you must burn wood, burn only untreated hardwood in a properly maintained stove.
Refrain from burning trash or yard waste. Burning your garbage outdoors can release toxic particles into the air harming the health of your family and neighbors.
Conserve energy at home by setting your thermostat lower. If we use less energy, power plants will not need to burn as much coal or oil.
Weather stripping, fluorescent lights and programmable thermostats help to conserve energy and save you money.
Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks. (This is a year round recommendation.)
A GUIDE FOR PARTNER COORDINATORS
1. Make an educational effort in advance. At the start of the summer “ozone season,” partner coordinators should try to explain ground-level ozone pollution, its causes, effects, and the simple things we can do to reduce it. This will help those people you will be notifying to understand the meaning and intent of the notices.
2. Air Quality Forecasts The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection provides us with daily forecasts of expected ozone pollution concentrations for the following day. The Air Quality Partnership uses those forecasts as a trigger to send the appropriate notices out to partner coordinators by e-mail.
3. Air Quality Action Advisories The Air Quality Partnership provides advisories to partner organizations to help notify employees and customers of unhealthy air quality. Unlike in past years, there is only one type of advisory sent out on days with high levels of particle pollution or ozone. You will receive an Air Quality Action advisory via email the day before a forecasted event. Advisories can also be sent out year-round, but are primarily sent out during the summer months from May through September.
4. Notify your employees, clients or customers. When you receive the notice, use it to get the word out. Post copies where people will see them and will learn to look for them. Air Quality Partners have learned that bulletin boards, reception desks, entrance doors, lunchrooms, lobbies and elevators make good locations. At some sites, forwarding the e-mail notice is the quickest and easiest means of broadcasting the message.
5. Take action to reduce ozone or avoid exposure. Air pollution comes from a variety of sources, so there are many ways to reduce its formation. Individuals, employers and organizations can devise and commit to a number of actions. While these can be done anytime, the Partnership only asks for commitment to them on Ozone Action Days, when actions will make the most vital difference. Small corporate and individual actions, on or off the job, can add up to have a real effect if enough people participate. At the same time, we can use forecasts of unhealthy ozone levels to limit our exposure, or that of our co-workers or clients, to ground-level ozone pollution. Many of our Partners are medical locations, recreation departments, or organizations with a similar interest.
Tips for Organizations and Businesses
There are many simple, effective ways that businesses and organizations can help the Air Quality Partnership keep New Jersey’s air clean. Following are a few examples of popular ozone and particulate reducing activities: Raising Awareness
Distribute Air Quality Partnership information to employees, customers or clients, making them more aware of the air quality problem.
Post announcements of Ozone Action Days or Health Watches prominently. Encourage people to follow the tips for reducing air pollution.
Make Air Quality Action Days, usually when the weather is hot, casual dress days as an incentive for employees to participate.
Sponsor Brown Bag Lunch Programs on Air Quality Action Days to encourage employees to eat in.
Include articles about the Air Quality Partnership in employee newsletters or with paychecks.
Sponsor public information materials and announcements to help get the word out.
Encourage employees to take the bus, carpool, bike or walk to work on Air Quality Action Days.
Schedule business travel early in the morning and carpool, or eliminate traveling entirely by using conference calls instead.
Offer employees the option of telecommuting or flex time hours to reduce traffic congestion on Air Quality Action Days.
Refuel fleet vehicles in the early morning or after 6:00 p.m.
Postpone mowing corporate lawns on Air Quality Action Days.
Minimize bulk loading and unloading of fuel, solvents and volatile chemicals.
Use only water-based paints, cleaners and solvents.
Reschedule or reduce plant operations that significantly contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.
Conserve energy by setting back the air conditioner a few degrees, turning out lights and turning off copiers, computers and printers when not in use.
Ozone Health Effects
The OzonePass is a discounted commuter ticket offered by NJ TRANSIT. It provides a simple, discounted means for people to try transit instead of driving on days when high levels of ground-level ozone pollution are predicted.
OzonePass tickets are made available to New Jersey employers, who purchase them for their employees at the beginning of ozone season. Air Quality Actions Days are sent out the day before a forecasted ozone event. When this occurs, OzonePass tickets would be distributed to employees for use on the following day.
OzonePass tickets are only valid during the ozone season, which runs from mid May through mid September. It allows employees to travel to and from work on Air Quality Action Days for only $3.00 round trip, including transfers on NJ TRANSIT busses, trains, and light rail. The Ozone Pass is only available to members of the New Jersey Ozone Action Partnership.
Purchasing OzonePasses You must be a member of either the Delaware Valley or New Jersey Partnership to qualify for these passes. Fill out an Ozone Pass Application that gets mailed directly to NJ Transit. Register as an Air Quality Partner If you’re interested in not only qualifying for the Ozone Pass discounts provided by NJ Transit, but want to receive Air Quality Action Advisories, you can register online to become an Air Quality Partner.
TIPS TO REDUCE IDLING
Take Transit. Ride the train, bus, or trolley
Rideshare: Carpool or Vanpool
Telecommute: Work from home and spend extra commute hours with your family
Trip-Link: Do all your errands at one time avoiding unnecessary cold starts. An engine that’s been sitting for an hour or more pollutes five times as much as a warm one
Refueling: Do at the end of the day. Ozone levels are usually at their highest in the mid- to late afternoon, and pumping gas emits roughly five tons a day of pollution into the air. So, save your pumping until evening.
Topping Off: This is never a good idea, no matter what time of day. Spillage adds about two tons of pollution a day to our air.
Turn Off Engine: When you stop your car for a minute or more.
Postpone Mowing: Don’t mow the lawn until late in the day or use a manual or electric mower instead. *Remember to refuel mowers and other gasoline-powered tools after dusk too
School bus drivers in New Jersey have pledged to not idle for more than three -minutes for the benefit of children’s health!
-Buses can idle for no longer than 3 minutes unless actively discharging or picking up passengers for 15 consecutive minutes in a 60 minute period
-Only 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning the engine on and off
-Vehicles that idle 10 minutes per day waste more than 29 gallons of fuel each year
-An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour
-Children are especially vulnerable to air pollution. They breathe faster than adults, inhale more air per pound of body weight, and stand at tailpipe level
-You are not safe from air pollution inside an idling vehicle. Exposure to some pollutants is actually higher inside an idling vehicle than at the roadside
-It only takes 30 seconds to warm up your car and start driving on cold days
Help reduce IDLING on advisory days by learning more and taking action!