AIR QUALITY

Transportation leads sources of air pollution in New Jersey and is responsible for just over 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Vehicular air pollution creates many health issues and exacerbates asthma, especially in children.

GMTMA is able to help communities and companies decrease air pollution by encouraging the use of public transportation, ridesharing and other alternative commuting solutions.

Is today an Air Quality Action Day? Check the regional forecast here or nationwide information here.

Air Quality Action Days

An Air Quality Action day is called when the ozone and/ or particulate matter forecasts reach an Air Quality Index (AQI) of orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups), red (unhealthy), or maroon (very unhealthy). Television, mobile applications, and email alerts can inform you of forecasted Air Quality Action Days.

These are most common mid-May through the beginning of September- typically hot, muggy days with little wind. Ground-level ozone and/or particulate matter are responsible for numerous health problems such as chest pain, coughing, wheezing, and aggravation of asthma.

The Air Quality Index number can be used as a guide when planning physical or outdoor activities. Please consult the chart below.

TO SIGN UP FOR
AIR QUALITY ACTION
EMAIL ALERTS

CLICK HERE

air-quality-index-chart

Things You Can Do (If it is an Air Quality Action Day or Not!):

  • Instead of driving, carpool, take public transportation (use NJ Transit OzonePass), telecommute, walk or bike.
  • Avoid excessive idling or jack-rabbit starts
  • Consolidate errands.
  • Don’t refuel your car, or only do so after 7 P.M.
  • Wait to mow your lawn until late evening or the next day, and avoid using gas powered garden equipment.
  • Conserve energy-set your air conditioner to a higher temperature.
  • Check the Air Quality forecast.
  • Download our flyer with tips and information for Ozone Action Days.

Greater Mercer TMA Works with Communities and Schools to Reduce Idling

Idling occurs when a vehicle is turned on, but is not in motion. Vehicle idling is of great concern because it releases particulates that cause severe health issues and damage the environment. NJ State Law prohibits idling a vehicle (diesel or gasoline) for more than three minutes.

idling

Clean Air Out There: Air Quality education program

A fun, educational environmental program available for students in grades K-6 in a classroom or afterschool activity setting (Scouts, 4-H, etc.). Through a transportation lens, students are presented ways to improve air health and move more sustainably. By the end of the program, children will understand what vehicle idling is and why it is harmful. They will also know simple actions they can take to make a difference.

In addition, Idle Free Zone information is available for businesses and concerned citizens. Greater Mercer TMA can arrange environmental education tabling at community fairs or environmental celebrations.

Ozone Pass: NJ Transit offers discounted tickets on Air Quality Action Days.

Businesses purchase these passes for employee use on high ozone days.

The $3 round trip tickets are eligible for NJ Transit buses, trains, and light rail within NJ.

Contact NJ Transit for more information (973)491-7109.

For more information, please contact Ian Henderson at ihenderson@gmtma.org

IDLING MYTHS

MYTH:
An engine should be warmed up before driving.

REALITY:
Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to do this is to drive the vehicle. With today’s modern engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before driving away.

MYTH:
Shutting off and restarting your vehicle is hard on the engine and uses more gas than if you leave it running.

REALITY:
Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components like the battery and the starter motor. Idling can actually decrease the life of your engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and exhaust systems.

More than 10 seconds of idling consumes more fuel than restarting your engine.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us if you have a question.