Posted: Jul 18, 2012 1:14 PM by Press Release
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality held a meeting in Lafayette today on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Ozone Advance Program today. The meeting was held at the South Louisiana Community College.
DEQ staff presented an overview of the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone along with a synopsis of the current ozone conditions in Lafayette Region.
Air quality in Louisiana continues to improve and is the best it has been since the promulgation of the Clean Air Act, but EPA is required to periodically review and may strengthen the standard for pollutants like ozone. The 2008 revisions to the ozone standard, along with potential changes from EPA's 2013 standard review, may place the Lafayette metropolitan area out of attainment for ozone. The EPA's Ozone Advance program is one step available to assist those areas that are currently at risk of being designated as nonattainment.
Local governments can enroll in the free program, through which they will identify a series of measures that may be implemented to reduce pollution levels in the community. These factors can then be taken into account by EPA when future attainment designations are made. Participation in the program could provide those communities with additional time to reach compliance before reaching a status of nonattainment. DEQ staff is working with governmental agencies, industry and community leaders across the state to get areas enrolled in the program.
"Meetings such as these are to inform citizens, business leaders and local governments of the methods and opportunities and strategies to improve the air quality," said DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch. "Participation in EPA's Ozone Advance Program allows participants to be better positioned to avoid a nonattainment designation in the future."
Being informed about daily air quality is one tool and citizens can do that by signing up for EnviroFlash, a free automatic air quality notification system. Members can receive emails or texts on daily air quality or just when it reaches an orange level. EnviroFlash is also used to notify the public about unusual air quality events. Sign up today on the DEQ Web site: www.deq.louisiana.gov/enviroflash. The AIRNow mobile application provides you real-time air quality information that you can use to protect your health when planning your day. You can get the download application for Android or IPhone at www.airnow.gov in the announcement box.
For more information on the Ozone Advance program, check out the EPA Web site: www.epa.gov/ozoneadvance. For current local air quality information, visit: www.deq.louisiana.gov/aqinfo.