Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared May as Air Quality Awareness Month in Louisiana.
May is traditionally the start of ozone season and the proclamation was made to encourage citizens to become familiar with the Air Quality Index, to understand what causes ozone formation and to take voluntary steps to help prevent the formation and improve air quality, according to a news release.
When conditions are right, the air pollutant known as ozone is formed. It is formed by a chemical reaction on hot days when the pollutants, known as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, cook under a hot sun. Ozone formation is most prevalent between May 1 and Sept. 30, but it can occur at other times. When everyone takes necessary steps to limit the formation of ozone-causing pollutants, there is a chance the ozone formation may decrease.
Some steps the public can take include: walking, biking, carpooling, using mass transit and ride sharing. Use gasoline powered engines after 6 p.m. and fuel your car when it’s cool. When running errands, plan and combine them for less driving.
Residents can access air quality information, automatically, by email or text, by subscribing to EnviroFlash. The system, provided by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, allows residents to receive daily or on demand air quality information and ensures that the public receives Ozone Action Day alerts and other pertinent air quality information.
To subscribe for EnviroFlash go to http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/enviroflash.
Current air quality information is available on the DEQ web site, http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/aqino.