Marylanders are breathing the cleanest air in years and it’s getting better, according to a 2016 article by the Capital Gazette. Little America is “very close to meeting all current federal air quality standards, close on ozone and continuing to meet the air pollution particulate goal attained in 2012.”
Here are Warner Service’s top 10 interesting facts about our home state’s bettering air quality, including the latest on key programs for cars and permit regulations for small businesses:
- The state of Maryland uses a system called the Ambient Air Monitoring Program, which “measures ground-level concentrations of criteria pollutants and air toxics, along with surface and aloft meteorological parameters,” according to Maryland’s Department of the Environment. The Program is also responsible for the regularly updated “analysis of the pollutant concentrations that are measured at each of the air monitoring stations located throughout” the state.
- Users can see a live feed on the Baltimore Hazecam, which shows the negative effect of inversions (when the temperature increases instead of decreases with increasing height) on the atmosphere.
- From 1990 to 2015, Maryland has had a shrinking ozone problem. The MDE developed maps for users to see how the state has improved to meet the 2008 health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standard over the years.
- Since 2013, the MDE regularly keeps citizens informed with individual monthly air quality reports for 4 regions: Western Maryland, Baltimore, the Eastern Shore, and Washington, D.C. The reports include statistics regarding only two major pollutants, ground-level ozone and fine particles.
- The state requires laundromats to have a permit for Perc Dry Cleaning, as the practice has been called “a central nervous system depressant and respiratory irritant that the Environmental Protection Agency deems a ‘probable human carcinogen,’ according to a 2008 Washington Post article.
- To keep the air quality in Maryland clean, the state government has a seasonal Open Burning Ban in effect from June 1 to Sept. 1. This ban “includes the open burning that is primarily used as a form of disposal of certain waste materials by individuals, farmers, and developers,” according to the Air Quality Compliance Program. However, it does not include contained campfires and grills.
- “Maryland's Air Quality Planning Program (AQPP) writes state implementation plans and regulations to reduce emissions...for six 'criteria' air pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide,” according to the program’s website.
- Users can find Maryland’s Climate Change Legislation here. It includes chapters like Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change, The Cost of Inaction, and more.
- In 2007, Maryland adopted California’s laws on stricter vehicle emissions standards through the Clean Cars Program. It significantly reduced the number of emissions including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), improving overall air quality.
- Marylanders can download the MDE’s Air Quality Action Guide, which helps citizens “choose appropriate actions to reduce your exposure to pollution and to actively participate in minimizing air pollution levels,” according to the MDE’s website.
So, what can you do to help improve our air quality? The MDE suggests turning off lights and energy-efficient appliances, as well as following the “reduce, reuse, recycle” rule. Shop with reusable bags, plant trees, and put off mowing or painting on bad air days. Other tips include suggestions for frequent drivers, including avoid idling the vehicle’s engine, maintain the vehicle, and use public transportation when possible.
You can also make your home’s air more breathable by downloading Warner Service’s popular checklist, How To Improve Indoor Air Quality. It includes easy tips and information on one of our latest products, The Air Scrubber by Aerus: