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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4/17/02
02/26

CONTACT: Elaine Makatura 609-292-9289
Fred Mumford 609-292-2994

UNHEALTHY LEVELS OF OZONE FORECAST FOR CENTRAL NEW JERSEY
UNHEALTHY LEVELS OF FINE PARTICLES FORECAST FOR PARTS OF THE NORTHEAST

(02/26) Trenton---Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced today the first air quality forecast for the season. Unhealthy air quality is forecast across much of central New Jersey due to ground-level ozone which will build up during the afternoon under hot, sunny skies. Unhealthy particulate levels are forecast in parts of northeastern New Jersey due to fine particles caused by diesel powered cars, trucks and buses, and industrial sources.

"Air quality is a serious health threat and we all need to take action to help reduce ozone forming emissions", said Bradley Campbell, Commissioner. "The forecast issued today is to protect the public, especially those groups with respiratory and heart problems. Intense heat and sunlight increase the probability of air pollution. We need rain not only to keep temperatures down, but also because of the seriousness of the state's drought emergency," Campbell added.

Ozone, or smog, forms when air pollutants from cars, power plants and other combustion sources combine in the heat of the sun. Small children, the elderly, asthmatics and others with respiratory or heart disease problems are especially vulnerable.

The ozone season runs from April 1, through October 31 each year. The general public is encouraged to consolidate trips, carpool, use public transportation, limit the use of gasoline powered equipment, and avoid car idling.

For more information, visit www.state.nj.us/dep/airmon/ozact.htm. You can also tune in to New Jersey Network where the Nightly News weather reports include ozone forecasts or call the DEP Air Quality Hotline at 1-800-782-0160 for the day's air quality and tomorrow's forecast. For information on the health effects contact the NJ Department of Health at 609-633-2043.

 

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