What can I do to improve Shreveport's air quality?
There are lots of little things you can do to help the environment:
- Don't idle your vehicle for long periods of time
- Mowing your yard after 6 p.m.
- Each hour you spend mowing your lawn is the equivalent of driving 20 miles in your car. If you mow in the evening, it prevents bad ozone buildup during the hottest part of the day
For additional tips on things you can do to reduce ozone causing emissions, go to AirNow
What is Shreveport is Doing?
The City of Shreveport is spearheading a push for the voluntary implementation, by local citizens, government bodies, businesses and industries, of measures to reduce the formation of ozone. Although our air quality in northwest Louisiana has improved over the last several decades, the standard for ozone has gotten stricter over that same period, making it increasingly challenging for our area to remain in attainment of the standard.
A local ozone action network, consisting of most of the major employers in the area, has been developed for the purpose of spreading the word and developing ideas and programs for reducing ozone-causing emissions. If you would like to participate, contact Wes Wyche, Environmental Services Manager, at (318) 673-6072 or Wes Wyche.
The City has taken numerous steps to reduce ozone, including installation of “intelligent” traffic signals (which lessen vehicle idle time at intersections); replacing diesel buses and garbage trucks with cleaner burning compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and installing CNG fueling infrastructure for use by the public; installing energy-efficient lighting and traffic signals (which result in lower emissions from the generation of electricity); sponsoring energy efficiency programs for residents, including assisting with the costs of energy audits and facilitating low interest loans for energy efficiency upgrades to residents; and offering discounted bus passes during ozone season.
It is important to work to change what we can control, because so much of what happens is out of our control. For example, studies conducted using computer modeling consistently show that Shreveport / Bossier's air is impacted by industry in East Texas and the refineries in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast. In fact, if you take a look at the ozone buildup over the course of an 8-hour day, you will see that it often begins building over Houston, Dallas, and East Texas first, then spreads to Northwest Louisiana.
Ground-level ozone is also a by-product of trees, of all things. Grant Parish, home of Kisatchie National Forest, but no major cities or industry, has an ozone level which at times can be nearly as high as ours. Ozone also has a season, just like hurricanes. That season is May 1 through October 1, so expect levels to be higher then.