Environmentally Speaking

Earth Day 2020

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we reflect on what we do everyday as an agency, and specifically air quality, to promote the values of this year’s Earth Day theme: climate action.   Climate action is more than just using metal straws and recycling a plastic bottle. It involves thinking outside the box with all types of minds to innovate the future that we want. Over the past few years, North Carolina has made strides in improving our state’s air quality, particularly in response to climate change.     Ground Level Ozone – 

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With around 9 million vehicles registered in North Carolina, we have a large amount of emissions that affect air quality and contribute to climate change.  It can seem overwhelming-how do we address an issue that is so central to our society?  The convenience and independence of driving a personal vehicle is necessary for many people; they don’t want to or are unable to consider alternate forms of transportation.  Additionally, we have to think about the emergency response teams, transport of goods, buses, and more that are required for our society to function.  It’s safe to say vehicles are h

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As of January 2020, there were just under 9 million vehicles registered in North Carolina.  These vehicles include the cars that are driven every day to school, work, the grocery store, the gym...you name it.  Vehicle emissions are one of the biggest sources of air pollution in North Carolina, and contribute to both particle pollution and ground level ozone.  These pollutants have a negative impact on human health, environmental health, visibility, tourism, and more, not to mention the contribution to climate change.  While governmental regulations make a big difference for air pollutant emiss

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                            Every year since 2004, the AQ-IQ Contest has given seventh grade students a chance to show off what they know about the air and how to keep it clean. It was started by Margie Mears, Director of the Clean Air Community Trust in Asheville, but has been a statewide competition run by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality since 2014.

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NC Air Awareness, a section of the Division of Air Quality that has been around for some time now; our mission has always been to educate and bring awareness to people’s lifestyle and how their behaviors impact air quality, and thus their health.  Our programs reach far and wide from school classrooms across the state, to drivers education coursework to teachers and environmental educators, and a myriad of public events . These include electric car shows, asthma summits, environmental field days, museums, and more – the list is exhaustive.  

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Many know the story of Robin Hood, or the pop culture significance of Robin Hood the hero, a commoner who stole from the rich to give to the poor, in the myriad of stories about his life one thing is clear: he made the seemingly elusive very tangible, and improved lives with his efforts. 

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Did you know that Earth Day was started right in the United States by a US Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson?  Having witnessed oil spills and environmental degradation, he used the anti-war movement started by students to join social and environmental consciousness.  He enlisted the help of Pete McCloskey (Republican Congressman) and Denis Hayes (Harvard Professor), two very smart guys who were also very different.   

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