DEP Encourages Residents to Take Steps to Improve New Jersey Air Quality

The Department of Environmental Protection reminds individuals that making basic changes in their daily routines can improve air quality across New Jersey while also protecting public health and saving money. “Spring is the perfect time of year to review our daily routines and see what we can do to help improve the quality of the air we breathe,” DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “Everyone can do their part to take simple steps that will help reduce emissions and greenhouse gases and protect public health, like turning our cars off when we’re not driving.”

Some simple changes include combining automobile trips, eliminating car idling, keeping your car’s maintenance current, purchasing an energy-efficient vehicle, and checking the state’s Air Quality Index before heading outside.

New Jersey is a national leader in clean energy and controlling sources of air pollution in the state, resulting in significant progress in improved air quality, including:

  • Electric vehicle registrations have increased from about 500 in 2011 to more than 23,000 today.
  • New Jersey has selected its first round of clean air projects from the federal Volkswagen settlement – 533 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state and eight new electric, zero-emitting, NJ TRANSIT buses that will operate in the City of Camden.
  • New Jersey ranked first in the United States for total installed solar photovoltaic capacity per square-mile basis.

Transportation is the largest source of ozone-forming pollutants in New Jersey and contributes nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Vehicles emit nitrogen oxides that react with other pollutants to create ozone.

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