THE LATEST FROM THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
AIR QUALITY AWARENESS WEEK 2014
Last year, Maryland’s air was the cleanest in the three decades that ground level ozone has been measured. Hot summer sunshine generally increases the amount of ground-level ozone in our air, and that causes health issues for many Marylanders with asthma or other respiratory problems. Last summer had a nearly average number of hot days – but the number of days when the ozone standard was exceeded was the lowest yet measured and the days that exceeded the standard were “Code Orange” days. There were no “Code Red” days.
Thanks to decades of sustained efforts and the continued strong support of Maryland’s air quality programs by the O’Malley-Brown administration, overall, results of 2013 air quality monitoring data show continued improvements in our state’s air quality, but there is more to be done. Maryland is taking steps to address the pollution from power plants in neighboring states that are a major source of Maryland’s ozone problem.
This week is Air Quality Awareness Week. MDE encourages everyone to follow our air quality forecasts and take the steps listed below to help keep Maryland’s air clean.
“Breathing clean air is something most of us take for granted. But if you have respiratory concerns such as asthma, poor air quality is something that can’t be ignored,” said MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers. “We all make choices every day that can help reduce air pollution.”
What you can do:
- Conserve energy by turning off lights and appliances when you leave
- Use energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
- When possible, walk, bike or use public transportation.
- Do not idle your vehicle’s engine – keep the air clean and save fuel.
- Maintain your vehicles in good working order and check tire pressure regularly.
- Shop with reusable bags instead of using paper or plastic.
- Plant trees in locations around your home to provide shade in the summer.
- Follow air quality forecasts and plan your outdoor activity as appropriate.
- Put off mowing the lawn or painting and reduce driving on bad air days.
IN THE NEWS
Delmarvanow: USDA gives $2.6 million to extend water to Morris Mill
The $5 million in loans and grants now promised by the USDA, coupled with a $3 million grant from MDE, will fund the extension of water from Fruitland to the Morris Mill area.
“When MDE learned about significant groundwater contamination in Morris Mill we launched an aggressive response. … We’re very pleased with the solution in sight.” Read more
AIR, LAND, WATER – DID YOU KNOW?
Ambient air monitoring program
The Ambient Air Monitoring Program measures ground-level concentrations of criteria pollutants and air toxics, along with surface and aloft meteorological parameters. The Program also performs quality control, quality assurance, and analysis of the pollutant concentrations that are measured at each of the air monitoring stations located throughout Maryland. It is responsible for Air Quality Index (AQI) reporting and issuing daily air quality forecasts as well as coordination of 3D air-shed photochemical grid and dispersion modeling.
About this STAT
MDE reminds residents to take steps to protect their health and the air we breathe. For air quality forecasts and information on air quality, go to MDE’s website or to clearnairpartners.net or call MDE’s air quality hotline at 410-537-3247.
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Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland’s air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.