DEQ and IMCAL seeking input on ozone reductions strategies - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DEQ and IMCAL seeking input on ozone reduction strategies

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The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning & Development Council (IMCAL) are seeking input from the public on air quality strategies to reduce ozone formation and maintain attainment with the national standards.

According to a news release from DEQ, the agency has created a statewide survey that allows the public to make suggestions on how improve air quality in their own geographic are.

The link to the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cleanairforlouisiana.

Officials say that data collected from the survey will be shared with the regional air quality workgroup that is being lead by IMCAL.

The Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) comprised of Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, currently meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the pollutant ozone.

However, officials say that the area is close to becoming nonattainment and has joined the Environmental Protection Agency's Advance Program to take measures to reduce ozone and particle pollution.

"The Lake Charles area is affected by a number of emissions sources that include marine and airport equipment, as well as industrial sources, but there are also areas that residents and citizens can exert some control. Non-road emissions, which comprise 10 percent of the nitrogen oxide emissions and 11 percent of the volatile organic compound emissions in the Lake Charles area, are also emitted by lawn and garden equipment, four wheelers, boats and other off road vehicles. On road emissions sources that consist of vehicles driven on highways, can be more controlled when everyone combines errands, carpools and does not idle. Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of sunlight to form ozone, so by reducing the amounts of these emissions, we can impact how much ozone might be produced," the release states.

DEQ is asking residents and the public in the affected parishes to make their suggestions, via the survey, on how to help the Lake Charles area reduce ozone forming emissions.

For more information on the Ozone Advance Program and air quality, go to www.deq.louisiana.gov/ozoneadvance or at the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/ozoneadvance.

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