Desoto County News

MDEQ issues Air Quality Action Day for DeSoto County

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has issued an Air Quality Action Day for Saturday, June 3, 2023, in DeSoto County, Mississippi. Air Quality Action Days are days when pollutant levels are anticipated to exceed any primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), which are standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect public health. Residents and industries are asked to take action to help reduce air pollution on these days. See below for more details regarding this Air Quality Action Day.

Pollutant: Ozone

Current Primary NAAQS: 70ppb

Air Quality Index Forecast: AQI 101 – Code Orange, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

(Understanding EPA’s Air Quality Index)

Potential Human Impacts: Individuals participating in prolonged outdoor activity and those sensitive to ozone such as young children, the elderly, and people with respiratory diseases may experience breathing difficulties when participating in vigorous outdoor activities during the afternoon and early evening hours.  These individuals should limit exertion outside.

How You Can Help: While ozone is not emitted directly into the air, it is created by chemical reactions in the atmosphere between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is the main ingredient in “smog.”  Taking the following actions can make a BIG difference in reducing ozone and the number of ozone Air Quality Action Days:

1. Delay all open burning of yard, silvicultural, and agricultural waste planned for Saturday, June 3, 2023.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Mow your lawn after 6:00 p.m. When temperatures are cooler, ozone is less likely to form. Also consider using electric lawn equipment.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Telecommute. Explore the possibility with your employer to save time, money, and the air.

10. Don’t be an “American Idle.” Avoid letting your car idle. Go inside instead of using drive-thrus.

11. Spread the word. If everyone took just a few of these simple easy steps, it could make a big difference.

Note: Actual air quality trends show that Mississippi continues to meet all of EPA’s ambient air quality standards. Keep up the good work reducing emissions on days when forecasts anticipate higher pollutant levels.

Subscribe: Daily Air Quality Forecasts for Mississippi are available to the public via the MDEQ websiteMDEQ Twitter account, and email subscription. To see current air quality conditions anywhere in the country, visit AirNow.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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