In Jefferson County, almost as much air pollution is caused by motor vehicle traffic as by stationary sources, according to the county Health Department.
“Over past decades, industry and the community have worked together under regulations and with better technology to decrease pollution, yet we are in the top five in the nation in our use of single-occupancy vehicles,” said meteorologist Matt Lacke.
Cars and trucks are not regulated except by federal emissions standards.
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham encourages better control of vehicular emissions by offering free testing at Express Oil Lube locations on designated days and may pay for repairs to emission systems.
Greater use of ride-sharing programs, car pools and public transit could help clean our skies, Lacke said, “but are not universally utilized.”
When Air Quality Alerts are issued, people are encouraged to reduce driving in gasoline-powered vehicles. For healthy individuals, walking and biking are alternatives to gasoline engines, as are electric or hybrid vehicles.
Other solutions suggested by the health department include:
- Roll errands into one trip instead of multiple trips.
- Limit engine idling and avoid drive-through lines.
- Don’t use gas-powered lawn or garden equipment.
- Pump gas after dusk.
Complaint Line: Anyone can report suspected unauthorized air pollution by calling 205-930-1276.