Victoria ozone levels down

By by Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Sept. 12, 2012 at 4:12 a.m.

Victoria's ozone levels have stayed at a good number, Marie Lester, environmental programs coordinator for the City of Victoria, said.

Lester spoke about Victoria's air quality status at a City of Victoria Environmental Services air quality meeting on Wednesday morning.

The meeting, one of three to four held per year, was conducted at INEOS, and attended by about 20 people, many from area plants. Lester said they hold the meetings at various plants in the area because plant employees are interested in the air quality results and are more likely to attend if the meetings are held near their workplaces.

The next meeting is tentatively slated for some time at the beginning of next year.

Victoria was one of the only rural cities cited for non-attainment of the required ozone levels in the 1990s, Lester said. The ozone levels scored between 66 and 70 this year, within the Environmental Protection Agency's suggested acceptable range, and there haven't been any ozone action days this year, Lester said.

However, Victoria still has to be watchful to make sure the ozone levels don't rise to non-attainment levels again, Lester said. Environmental Services officials have worked hard to encourage people to do little things that help keep the ozone levels down. Doing things like carpooling and turning off your vehicle instead of letting it idle can make a difference in the ozone levels recorded in the area, Lester said.

"When people do that, it feels like nothing, but these little things matter because we're right at the cusp, so it helps," Lester said.



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