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Mar 19, 2013 11:45 AM by MELISSA CANONE

DEQ seeking input on ozone reductions strategies for

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking input from the public on air quality strategies to reduce ozone formation and maintain attainment with the national standards.

DEQ has created a statewide survey that allows the public to make suggestions on how improve air quality in their own geographic are. The link to the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cleanairforlouisiana.

Data collected from the survey will be shared with the local governmental officials as they work on their strategies to reduce ozone and particle pollution.

The Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area comprised of Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes, currently meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the pollutant ozone. However, the area is closer to becoming nonattainment and has been asked to join the Environmental Protection Agency's Advance Program to take and document measures to reduce ozone and particle pollution.

The Lafayette area is affected by a number of emissions sources that include marine, rail and airport equipment, as well as industrial sources, but there are also areas that residents and citizens can exert some control. Nonroad emissions, which comprise 17 percent of the nitrogen oxide emissions and 25 percent of the volatile organic compound emissions in the Lafayette area, are also emitted by lawn and garden equipment, four wheelers, boats and other off road vehicles. On road emissions sources consist of vehicles driven on highways and represent 48 percent of the nitrogen oxide and 29 percent of the volatile organic compound emissions of the area. These can be better controlled when everyone combines errands, carpools and does not idle. Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of sunlight to form ozone, so by reducing the amounts of these emissions, we can impact how much ozone might be produced.

DEQ is asking residents and the public in the affected parishes to make their suggestions, via the survey, on how to help the Lafayette area reduce ozone forming emissions.

For more information on the Ozone Advance Program and air quality, go to www.deq.louisiana.gov/ozoneadvance or at the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/ozoneadvance.

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