LIVINGSTON COUNTY — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for most of New York State including the DEC’s Region 8 Western, New York.
According to a press release the Air Quality Health Advisory includs Region1 Long Island, Region 2 New York City metro, Region 3 Lower Hudson Valley, Region 4 Upper Hudson Valley and Region 8 Western New York. The DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value indicating a greater health concern. The pollutant of concern is ozone and is in effect today from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The DEC urges residents to take the following energy-saving and pollution-reducing steps:
- use mass transit or carpool instead of driving, as automobile emissions account for about 60 percent of pollution in our cities;
- conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips;
- turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas;
- use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees;
- close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air;
- limit use of household appliances. If necessary, run the appliances at off-peak (after 7 p.m.) hours. These would include dishwashers, dryers, pool pumps and water heaters;
- set refrigerators and freezers at more efficient temperatures;
- purchase and install energy efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star label; and
- reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor sources of PM 2.5 such as smoking.
A toll-free Air Quality Hotline (1-800-535-1345) has been established by DEC to keep New Yorkers informed of the latest Air Quality situation. Additional information on ozone and PM 2.5 is available on DEC’s web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8400.html and http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/ozone.htm on DOH’s website.