Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebrate our nation and its resources

Millions of Americans will salute the founders of our United States on the Fourth with festivities of every size, from parades and fireworks to quiet backyard barbecues. Because so many people are traveling on the Fourth and throughout July, we at Clean Air NY want to alert you to how increased demands on our transportation system create higher pollution levels this season, especially amid summer's sweltering heat.

Motor vehicles are a prominent factor in air pollution as the biggest contributors to what generates ground-level ozone, a major pollutant in our cities. This ozone is produced as fossil fuels are burned, allowing hydrocarbons to react with nitrogen oxide in the presence of sunlight (ultraviolet radiation). As more vacationers hit the roads and streets, more ozone is generated, contributing to cardiovascular and respiratory problems, particularly for sensitive groups.

If you are traveling to a holiday party or event, share a ride with someone or take mass transit for part of the trip. If you're the host, encourage your guests to take these simple actions so everyone can avoid the stresses of holiday traffic.

If you are heading to a vacation, whether it is a weekend in the city to see the sights or a longer journey, know before you go where and when is the best time to travel. By checking out the New York State Department of Transportation's free traffic, travel and transit information service,, you can learn about any alerts and delays as you map out your route.

Vacationers want to breathe easier this month. With some smart choices, they can do so and honor the legacy of all those who struggled to make our country independent and free. Clean air is part of that celebration.

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