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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: May 4, 2011
CONTACT: Jessica Morton, (603) 271-1390
Jim Martin, (603) 271-3710

Air Quality Awareness Week, May 2 to May 6

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) joins EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Weather Service in designating May 2 to May 6 as Air Quality Awareness Week to educate people about air pollution and what they can do to protect their health and improve air quality. The week marks the beginning of the summertime smog season and highlights the importance of being aware of local air quality conditions and of taking steps to protect your health, if necessary.
“During a typical summer, New Hampshire experiences a number of days when the air can be unhealthy due to elevated concentrations of either ozone (better know as smog) or fine particle pollution,” said DES Commissioner Thomas Burack. “It is DES’s responsibility to monitor outdoor air quality and make sure this information is readily available to the public.”

DES collects continuous information on air quality conditions at about a dozen air monitoring stations throughout the state. These monitoring stations are operated by DES and other organizations. The information is used to forecast daily air quality conditions and is available at www.airquality.nh.gov or call (800) 935-SMOG.
To provide the public with up-to-date, air quality messages, a nationwide notification system called EnviroFlash was developed to provide instant customized information for your area of New Hampshire.  EnviroFlash is a personalized delivery system that provides air quality forecasts and alerts via email, text, or pager messages. This is especially helpful for people who are at greater risk from air pollution. EnviroFlash alerts people to unhealthy air quality conditions allowing them to make safe decisions about their day’s activities. Sign up today at www.enviroflash.info.

Commissioner Burack encourages all residents and businesses to take actions to do their share to minimize air pollution and protect our clean air and environment. These actions include keeping car and boat engines tuned up, carpooling or using public transit, walking or biking, consolidating trips and errands, using environmentally safe paints and cleaning products, and conserving electricity.

“Our air quality has been improving over the past few years,” Commissioner Burack noted. “We can continue to reduce air pollution and lower our energy costs by taking simple steps like changing to ENERGY STAR light bulbs, reducing vehicle idling, and keeping tires properly inflated. Collectively, small steps taken by everybody can lead to significant benefits for our health and environment.”

For more information on air quality, to arrange a visit to an air monitoring station, or to find out more about what steps citizens and businesses can take to keep the air clean, visit www.des.nh.gov on the A-Z list Air Resources Division, or call (603) 271-1370. You can also sign up for Air Quality Action Day Alerts by signing up for the DES E-News at www.des.nh.gov/media/enews/index.htm.

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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