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Improving Air Quality in Greenville County, SC The Challenge: Air Pollution The Solution: Awareness.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Air Quality in Greenville County, SC The Challenge: Air Pollution The Solution: Awareness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Air Quality in Greenville County, SC The Challenge: Air Pollution The Solution: Awareness

2 Upstate County Council Actions Place great value and importance on the health of citizens and the need for clean air County Councils of Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg –adopted resolutions in November 2002 Established cooperative means for improving air quality in Upstate SC and meeting standards Entered into an Early Action Compact (EAC) with USEPA and SCDHEC in December 2002 through December 2007

3 Provided that the Upstates air quality monitors reflect attainment by December 31, 2007, entering into the EAC helped us avoid –Restrictive permitting requirements –Restrictions on the distribution and use of federal highway funds –Negative economic impacts and diminished job growth Air Quality Early Action Compact (EAC)

4 Southeast Attainment Status Source: Ground Level Ozone: Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson Counties are re- designated to attainment PM 2.5 : Entire State of South Carolina is designated as attainment

5 What is Good and Bad Ozone? Source: Good ozone occurs in the atmospheres upper level (stratosphere) and protects us from suns harmful UV rays Bad ozone occurs in the atmospheres lower level (troposphere) during hot dry summer days. It is seasonal, usually April to September

6 VOCs + NOx + Sunlight = Ozone ++ = Ozone On hot, dry summer days, high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by sources such as paints and household cleaners/chemicals react with high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by sources such as cars and industrial plants to form ozone (O 3 ) at ground level

7 VOCs + NOx + Sunlight = Ozone Sources of VOCs –Household products –Trees, especially pine trees, naturally release VOCs –Fumes released when fueling vehicles –Poorly operating vehicle engines Sources of NOx –On and off-road motor vehicles (mobile sources) –Electric utilities –Other industrial, commercial, and residential sources that burn fuels (gasoline, diesel, coal)

8 What is Particulate Matter? Particulate matter –Known as particle pollution or PM –Complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets –Made up of acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles Many sizes and shapes It is a year-round matter Coarse particles –Found near roads and dusty industries –Range in size from 2.5 to 10 micrometers (µm) in diameter Average human hair is about 70µm in diameter Fine particles (PM 2.5 ) –Found in smoke and haze –Smaller than 2.5µm –Can be directly emitted from forest fires, gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles

9 Sources of Pollutants Generating PM 2.5 Primary particles –Emitted directly from a source –Construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires Secondary particles –Complicated reactions of chemicals in the atmosphere such as sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides –Emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles making up most of the fine particle pollution

10 Health Effects of High Levels of Ground Level Ozone and PM 2.5 Irritates respiratory system –reduces lung function –produces coughing, throat irritation, and congestion –inflames and damages cells that line lungs –aggravates chronic lung diseases (asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema) –causes permanent lung damage

11 Who Is Most Affected? Children Elderly People with respiratory illnesses People who are active outdoors

12 Air Quality Guide for Ozone Air Quality IndexProtect Your Health Good (0-50) No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range. Moderate (51-100) Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion. Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups ( ) The following groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion: People with lung disease, such as asthma Children and older adults People who are active outdoors Unhealthy ( ) The following groups should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion: People with lung disease, such as asthma Children and older adults People who are active outdoors Everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Very Unhealthy ( ) The following groups should avoid all outdoor exertion: People with lung disease, such as asthma Children and older adults People who are active outdoors Everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.

13 Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution Air QualityAir Quality IndexHealth Advisory Good0-50None. Moderate Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Unhealthy People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Very Unhealthy (Alert) People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

14 Preventing Exposure During High Levels of Air Pollution Alert Days Avoid strenuous outdoor activities –Substitute for an activity requiring less exertion Walking instead of jogging Avoid long exposure to outdoor activities –Reduce activity time –Plan activities during days of lower air pollution levels Dont exercise near busy roads –Air pollution levels are higher in these areas

15 Preventing Exposure During Days of High Levels of Air Pollution: Be Alert USEPA –http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/air.html –http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/airatmospheregroundlev elozone.html –http://airnow.gov/ –Free automated service that provides information about Air Quality Index in the location of your choice via daily s

16 Preventing Exposure During Days of High Levels of Air Pollution: Be Alert SCDHEC –http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/baq/baqspare.asp – (Air Quality Forecast)

17 Preventing Exposure During Days of High Levels of Air Pollution: Be Alert Greenville County –Website Under County Highlights: Air Quality –Cable TV (Channel 2)

18 What Can You Do on the Road? Consolidate trips to avoid unnecessary driving Carpool or rideshare to work, school, or meetings Use alternative modes of transportation –public transportation, bicycles, walk Avoid long lines for drive-up windows –Park your car and walk into the business Avoid driving from store to store looking for just one item –Call ahead to find out if the item is in stock –Plan your trips to combine your tasks into one Avoid unnecessary trips during rush hours Accelerate and brake gradually

19 What Can You Do on the Road? Avoid idling your cars engine for more than 30 seconds –Late model vehicles need little warm-up during cold weather Observe speed limits –Avoid driving at high speed –Use cruise control on highways Avoid topping-off the gas tank when refueling –Topping off and spilled gas pollute the air Use car air conditioning when absolutely necessary Refuel when its cool –Early in the morning or during the evening Use alternate fuels if available and if your car is properly equipped Reduce car loads –Avoid driving with unnecessary items

20 What Can You Do on Your Vehicle? Properly maintain fleet or personal vehicles to reduce emissions and enhance performance –Follow recommended maintenance schedule –Maintain recommended tire pressure –Replace air filter as recommended in the owners manual

21 What Can You Do at Work? Telecommute to work, if possible or feasible Carpool or rideshare –From home to work –From work to meetings, training sessions, seminars, conferences, etc. Consider implementing alternate work schedules –Reduces engine idling during egress both in employees parking areas and on congested streets during rush hours Reduce driving by providing in-house –On-line training sessions –Web meetings/conferences –Conference telephone calls, especially if long distance within the State Conserve energy –Chose energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs –In the long run, helps to reduce emissions associated with energy production

22 What Can You Do at Work and Home? Make sure the lids on chemical products, especially janitorial products, paints, solvents, etc. are tightly closed to eliminate evaporation Read the labels and use products that are water-based where suitable –Use the minimum amount necessary When painting –Consider using brush or roller instead of sprayer –Use paints that are water- based or labeled Zero VOC –Store solvents (paint thinners) in airtight containers Use fans instead of air conditioning at home, when appropriate

23 What Can You Do at Home? Conserve energy –In the long run, helps to reduce emissions associated with energy production Chose energy efficient appliances Properly insulate your home Check with utility company for more energy conservation tips or programs Participate in gas can exchange programs in your community Microwave small meals Replace standard light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use Put your computer on stand-by or turn it off when not in use Consider installing a programmable thermostat for your air conditioning and furnace to automatically adjust its operation during times away from home

24 What Can You Do Outdoors? In your home garden or office landscaped areas –Consider using manual (reel) or electric-powered lawn and garden maintenance equipment –If using gas-powered lawnmowers, mow lawns when its cool Early in the morning Late in the afternoon –Consider creating flower or plant beds to reduce lawn mowing areas

25 When Considering a New Car Purchase Consider purchasing hybrid, alternate fuel, fuel efficient, or lean burn vehicles –The State of South Carolina provides tax incentives for individuals to purchase these vehicles State income tax credit equal to 20% of certain new hybrid, fuel cell, alternative fuel, or lean burn technology motor vehicle Tax credits allowed against a taxpayer's federal income tax liability Fuel economy website –http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

26 Outdoor Burning State law requirements –Air Pollution Regulation regulates outdoor burning and provides exemptions to the statewide ban on open burning –Notify the Forestry Commission prior to burning outdoors (yard debris), for forestry, wildlife management, or agricultural purposes, construction debris, trade waste, or vegetative materials from land clearing or right-of-way maintenance

27 Outdoor Burning Ordinance No –regulates outdoor burning in Greenville County within all platted residential subdivisions or all zoned areas with the exception of the residential suburban district, within 200 feet of a platted residential subdivision or applicable zoned area in the County

28 Outdoor Burning Dont burn the following materials - Its against State law! –Household garbage, trash, and cleaners –Paper, plastics, paints, and farm chemicals –Motor and waste heating oils –Building and roofing materials (shingles and tar) –Tires and other rubber materials –Electrical wire, insulation, and duct work

29 What Else Can You Do? Spread the Word Word of mouth is a great marketing and educational tool –Tell friends, family and co-workers what you are doing and why –Education and small changes in personal habits will do wonders to keep the air cleaner in our corner of the world

30 It is Everybodys Responsibility Often industry and businesses are blamed for causing emissions that form ground level ozone and air pollution. But we are all responsible for reducing air pollution. –Remember motor vehicle emissions are the single greatest contributor to ground level ozone pollution and PM.

31 Sources US Environmental Protection Agency –http://www.epa.gov/epahome/educational.htm SC Department of Health and Environmental Control –http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/baq/

32 Contact Information John Owings/Dan Powell Greenville County Planning Department Phone: (864) Fax: (864) Sandra Yúdice Assistant to the County Administrator Phone: (864) Fax: (864)


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