EPA Gives Approval for State Action to Improve Kansas City Air Quality
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator John Askew today formally approved two state plans to keep Kansas City air clean. Kansas and Missouri submitted their plans to EPA in May 2007.
“We are taking positive action to move forward and bring about emissions reductions in Kansas City,” Askew said. “This approval gives the states a green light to implement measures to protect public health. These actions, which are triggered by high ozone readings, include reducing emissions from power plants and development of regulations to reduce idling of vehicles.”
The federal ozone standard is designed to protect people from health effects associated with long-term exposure to the pollutant. Ground-level ozone can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs, causing inflammation, chest pains and difficulty breathing.
Ground-level ozone is a man-made pollutant formed, in the presence of sunlight, from a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are emitted from a variety of sources such as cars and trucks, industrial and power plants, and paint and solvent use.
Kansas City area residents can help reduce ground-level ozone by following these simple tips:
● Use mass transit and carpools and bike or walk to work, school or on errands. Remember to take special care during ozone alert days if you have breathing problems.
● Keep your car or truck properly maintained and see a repair technician if your “check engine” light is on.
● Refuel after 7 p.m., and don’t top off your gas tank. This reduces vapor loss (and saves money) during refueling.
● Use an electric or push lawn mower. Avoid using gasoline-powered yard machines.
● Avoid lighter fluid when barbecuing. Use a chimney or electric starter to light your coals.
● Become more energy efficient. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs and turn the air conditioner up a few degrees.
The public can comment on EPA’s approval of these plans, which will be published in the Federal Register.
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