DART News Release
Media Relations Contact:
May 22, 2000
What are you breathing?
New Air Quality Tools Keep Residents Informed, DART Helps Commuters Take Action
The North Texas Clean Air Coalition is helping to introduce a new communications tool to help residents know when to take action, and DART is working with commuters and area organizations to help clean up the air.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air is bad enough in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to designate the region as a serious ozone non-attainment area. This means that cities in the area have failed to comply with the 1990 Clean Air Act.
DART can help
Residents are especially encouraged to carpool or use DART as one way of responding to the air quality watches and warnings. But those are good choices everyday.
"DART offers a number of solutions to reduce pollution and promote transit use. One of those tools is DART's E-Pass program," said Matt Raymond, DART marketing and communications assistant vice president. Designed to promote regular transit ridership, the program allows employers to buy deeply discounted annual passes for every full-time employee. Good for unlimited travel on DART's regular bus and rail routes, the passes are sold to the participating businesses or organizations at significantly discounted rates. E-Pass information is available by calling 214-747-RIDE (7433) or by visiting the DART website, www.DART.org.
What is ozone pollution?
Ozone pollution is the periodic increase in the concentration of ozone in the natural air that surrounds us. It is mainly considered a daytime problem during the summer months because warm temperatures play a role in its formation. When the sun is bright, temperatures are high and the winds are almost calm, ozone can collect and reach unhealthy levels.
Ozone is also one of several pollutants that make up smog -- the reddish-brown haze that forms when air quality is really poor. Because ozone is colorless, the air can look clear when high ozone concentrations are present.
Each year smog is responsible for millions of cases of serious respiratory disorders, reduced lung capacity and inflamed lung tissue. Smog also increases the intensity of numerous cases of children with asthma.
The ozone standard established in the Clean Air Act is 120 parts per billion, and if any ozone monitor in the D/FW region exceeds this standard more than three times over a three-year period, the region is considered non-attainment. In 1999, the D/FW area had 25 Ozone Alert days, and on 10 of those days, ozone levels were dangerous.
How can you protect yourself?
More information about air quality in North Texas is available by contacting the Clean Air Coalition at 972-621-0400 or by visiting their website, www.ntc-dfw.org.
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