|Charlotte Region Ozone Levels Reach Record Highs|
|This has been one of the worst years on record for "Ozone
Action Days" in Charlotte. An Ozone Action Day is declared when ozone levels are
forecast to reach unhealthy levels. These programs, often in partnership with local
businesses, encourage voluntary actions to reduce emissions of pollutants that contribute
to ground-level ozone formation
But what is ozone? Ozone is a colorless gas that can be found in the air we breathe. Ozone exists naturally in the Earths upper atmosphere, known as the stratosphere, where it shields the Earth from the suns ultraviolet rays. However, ozone is also found close to the Earths surface. This ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant.
|Ozone concentrations can reach unhealthy
levels when the weather is hot and sunny with relatively light winds. The largest
contributor of ozone build up is automobiles, trucks, and buses.
This summer has been worse than last summer, and last summer was worse than the summer before it. Not a good trend. With the population of the Charlotte-metro region growing by leaps and bounds, the interstates and roads are jammed with traffic, even during non-rush hours.
The need for light rail is greater than ever! Not only is light rail cleaner and more efficient than buses, but studies have shown that ridership is greater on rail than bus.