Desoto County News

Air Quality Action Day for DeSoto County

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, or MDEQ, Tuesday issued an Air Quality Action Day for DeSoto County. 

Air Quality Action Days are those days when ozone levels have the potential to exceed the ozone standard, and it is suggested that residents and industries take actions to help reduce air pollution.

Individuals who are sensitive to ozone such as young children, the elderly, and those that have respiratory diseases may experience breathing difficulties if they perform vigorous activities outside during the afternoon and early evening hours and should limit exertion outside.

When MDEQ issues Air Quality Action Days, open burning in the county is banned for that particular day.  

According to MDEQ, taking these actions can make a difference to reduce ozone and reduce the number of Air Quality Action Days:

  • Slow Down, Leave Early. Drive the speed limit and avoid fast accelerations. You’ll use less fuel, produce fewer emissions, and be a safer driver.
  • Take mass transit, share a ride, or carpool. Even if you do it just once or twice a week, you’ll reduce traffic congestion and pollution and save money.
  • Have fun! Walk or ride your bike. It’s a great way to travel and it can help you and the air get into condition. Vehicles on the road create more than 25 percent of all air pollution nationwide.
  • Mow your lawn after 6:00 p.m. When temperatures are cooler, ozone is less likely to form. Also consider using electric lawn equipment.
  • Combine trips. It’s easy! Chances are, you’re already doing it – combining your errands into one trip. It helps you get things done and it helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
  • Get fuel when it’s cool. Refueling during cooler periods of the day or in the evening can prevent gas fumes from heating up and creating ozone.
  • Don’t top off the tank. It releases gas fumes into the air and cancels the benefits of the pump’s anti-pollution devices. So, stopping short of a full tank is safer and reduces pollution. Also, regular maintenance and tune-ups, changing the oil, and checking tire inflation can improve gas mileage.
  • Telecommuting. Explore the possibility with your employer to save time, money, and the air.
  • Don’t be an “American Idle.” Avoid letting your car idle. Go inside instead of using drive-thrus.
  • Spread the word. If everyone took just a few of these simple easy steps, it could make a big difference.

The National Weather Service, with the Shelby County Health Department, provides its own separate air quality, or Code Orange Alert, and the Memphis NWS office has put DeSoto County, Shelby County, Tennessee and Crittendon County, Arkansas in a Code Orange Alert status for Tuesday. The difference is that when MDEQ declares an Air Quality Action Day the open burning ban is put in place.

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