The season’s first Air Alert is in effect in San Joaquin County from today, Monday, Aug. 19, to Wednesday, Aug. 21, according to San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Officials from the district declared the alert to prevent the valley’s air basin from exceeding critical ozone, or smog, levels, according to a district press release.
Air Alerts are declared when conditions that lead to ozone formation – increased emissions, high temperatures and stagnant air flow – materialize in the Valley.
The Air Alert is also in effect for Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare counties and the Valley portion of Kern counties.
Episodes of late-summer high ozone are correlated to back-to-school traffic and increased vehicle idling, according to the district.
Residents are urged to refrain from vehicle idling, carpooling or vanpooling and avoiding drive-through services.
Individuals can reduce their impact on ozone levels by refraining from idling when dropping off/picking up students, carpooling, vanpooling and using alternate transportation, and refraining from using drive-through services, according to the district.
Businesses and municipalities can reduce emissions by shifting operations to early morning or late evening, when ozone levels are lower, offering flexible work schedules, promoting carpools and vanpools for employees, and becoming a Healthy Air Living partner, according to the district.
Increased ozone levels damage the health of valley residents but also risks the possibility of a $29 million federal penalty, according to the district.
To receive Air Alert notifications, call 1-800-766-4463, go online to www.valleyair.org or subscribe to a free, automated email list at http://valleyair.org/list.list.htm.
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