The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, has declared the week of April 28th, Air Quality Awareness Week. The goal is to improve the public’s understanding of how they impact air quality and steps they can take to limit their impact. Air Quality is monitored right here in Presque Isle.
” Well in Northern Maine we generally have very good air quality, but each one of us has an air quality footprint that contributes to the global pool of air pollution,” says Environmental Director, Fred Corey.
Corey says if each one us takes small steps to decrease our footprint, then collectively we can make a difference in global air quality. He says a lot of the activities the EPA recommends to limit pollution, doesn’t really apply to Aroostook County. Like taking mass transits or riding your bike, since many places are too rural. But there are a few things that apply.
” If people could avoid idling their motor vehicle unnecessarily. They even recommend not using the drive thru, parking your car and going in whether it be the bank or a fast food restaurant,” says Corey.
Corey also adds that if you need to clean your yard or driveway, use a broom or rake instead of a leaf blower, or do it when the air is moist and not dry. This will cut down on a lot of the dust in the air, and help people who are affected by air quality.
” It’s really a problem for people that have respiratory disease whether it’s asthma or any other type of pulmonary problem,” says Corey.
Corey says if you are sensitive to air quality, and there is a poor air quality forecast, it is recommended to avoid strenuous activities or do them either in the morning before the pollution levels have had a chance to build up, or at night when it’s cooler.