Kevin J MacDonald, Public Information Administrator
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Seasonal Ozone Advisory Issued Through September
The Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability issued a season-long advisory for ground-level ozone pollution today that will be in effect from Thursday, April 1 to Thursday, Sept. 30.
Ozone is a colorless gas that exists naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. At ground level, ozone is a key ingredient of urban smog that can build up during the day in the hottest months of the year because of strong sunlight, hot temperatures, gasoline and chemical vapors, and pollutants from automobiles, wildfires and regional transport. Exposure to ozone can irritate your respiratory system and cause coughing, a sore throat, chest pain and shortness of breath even in healthy people, according to the EPA.
“Even though wildfire smoke throughout the western United States played a big part in Clark County’s ozone exceedances two of the past three years, it’s important we do everything we can at the local level to reduce ozone-producing pollutants, such as vehicle emissions and industrial pollutants,” said Department of Environment and Sustainability Assistant Director Jodi Bechtel. “Our Air Quality Division continues to enforce all federal, health-based standards to keep pollutants in check. People who live here also play an important role in reducing ground-level ozone. How often we drive, when we refuel our vehicles and how fuel-efficient our vehicles operate have an impact on local air quality.”
HELPFUL TIPS TO REDUCE OZONE
Because cars, trucks and other vehicles are major contributors to ozone, people can follow these helpful, everyday tips to reduce ozone:
- Reduce driving – combine errands into one trip.
- Don’t idle your car engine unnecessarily.
- Use mass transit or carpool.
- Fill up your gas tank after sunset. Try not to spill gasoline when filling up and don’t top off your tank.
- Keep your car well maintained.
- Consider landscaping that uses less water and gas-powered equipment to maintain.
- Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Less fuel burned at power plants means cleaner air.
Also, if you have respiratory issues or other health concerns, consider these tips during ozone season:
- Reduce the time you are active outdoors when ozone levels are elevated, especially if you are engaged in a strenuous activity or have a respiratory disease.
- Schedule activities for the morning or evening when ozone levels are usually lower.
- Substitute a less intense activity – walking instead of jogging, for example.
- Always consult your doctor first for medical advice.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH AIR QUALITY INFORMATION
The Department of Environment and Sustainability monitors air pollution through a network of monitoring sites throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Data is collected from these sites and reported at our monitoring website: AirQuality.ClarkCountyNV.gov. People can stay informed through a couple channels:
- Twitter and Facebook: Read air quality updates in your Facebook news feed or tweets. On Facebook: facebook.com/SustainClarkCounty and Twitter: @SustainClarkCty.
- EnviroFlash: Receive daily text or email messages with the latest air quality information. Learn more at enviroflash.org. The Dept. of Environment and Sustainability also issues advisories and alerts for ozone and other pollutants such as dust, smoke and other particulate matters.
- AIRNow: Check air quality forecasts, current conditions and the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Clark County at AIRNow’s website.
About the Department of Environment and Sustainability
The Department of Environment and Sustainability is the air pollution control agency, regional Endangered Species Act compliance program, and sustainability office for all of Clark County, Nevada. Established as the Department of Air Quality by the Clark County Commission in 2001, it was renamed in 2020 and is comprised of three divisions: Air Quality, Desert Conservation Program and Office of Sustainability. Through these three divisions, DES is ensuring the air we share meets healthful, regulatory standards, administering the County's Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan and addressing climate change through the All-In Clark County initiative.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.