Educate: The Clean Air Act Air sets national standards for six common “criteria” pollutants: particulate matter, ozone (sometimes referred to as smog), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, pollution levels have dropped significantly since 1990 despite increases in population and energy use.
Enact: The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has been working with industry and the public to reduce pollution levels in Wyoming. Through a combination of control strategies and technologies, pollutants in Wyoming – most notably ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter – have all been reduced significantly.
Empower: Unlike most areas of the nation, ozone levels tend to increase in the winter rather than the summer in Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin (UGRB). During the winter ozone season, from January to March, the Wyoming Air Quality Division monitors ozone and conducts forecasting in the UGRB. The Air Quality Division also issues an Ozone Action Day if forecasted weather conditions appear favorable for elevated ozone levels. On these days, some oil and gas operators and other entities volunteer to implement short-term emission reduction plans, and sensitive groups are advised to limit outdoor activity. To receive notifications, sign up at http://deq.wyoming.gov/aqd/public-notices/air-quality-winter-ozone/.
- National air quality trend information: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends
- Information about the Criteria Air Pollutants: https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants