The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood region has two air monitoring stations that measure ozone concentrations in our atmosphere. Ozone is “Good up High/Bad Nearby.” Ozone up high in the atmosphere is good and protects the earth against the sun’s rays…sort of like a blanket. However, ground–level ozone is bad and can pose a serious health risk especially to children, elderly, and individuals with lung diseases.
Ozone concentrations for our region are very close to exceeding the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Vehicle emissions are a major contributor to the production of ozone. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road and lowering the time vehicles are spent idling can help to reduce ozone and improve our air quality.
What can you do?
1. Leave your car at home. Try walking, cycling, riding public transit, carpooling/vanpooling, etc.
- maintain proper pressure in tires,
- get your vehicle tuned-up on schedule,
- get regular oil changes and use energy-conserving oil, and
- take care of serious maintenance problems.
3. Once you get behind the wheel:
- combine your errands to minimize trips,
- avoid rapid starts and stops,
- avoid idling in fast-food drive-thrus,
- eliminate extra weight from your car trunk,
- get fuel when it’s cool (evening is best),
- don’t top off the tank when fueling, and
- seal the gas cap tightly after fueling.
4. Participate in the Air Quality Challenge (see below):
- pick a day and start with one activity,
- add one or two more activities every week, and
- push yourself to try something new!
Air Quality Challenge
Sunday Cycling Sunday – Get outside, enjoy the day, ride a bike for fun!!
Monday Multi-Modal Monday – Take an alternative mode of transportation to work or school.
Tuesday “HOP” to it Tuesday – Ride “The HOP” or other public transit to work or school.
Wednesday Walkin’ Wednesday – Walk to work/school, take stairs instead of the elevator, walk to lunch.
Thursday Thursday Party Pack – Buddy Up…Get with your friends or co-workers and…car pool, van pool, or take public transportation.
Friday Fresh Air Friday – Spend time outdoors….breathe in fresh air!!!
Saturday Safety Check Saturday – Conduct maintenance on your vehicle.
Together, we can make a difference!
To learn more, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s web page at: http://www2.epa.gov/learn-issues/learn-about-air or contact Cheryl Maxwell, Interim Director, Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization at Cheryl.email@example.com .