Having clean air that allows all residents to safely enjoy outdoor activity is a crucial component of our quality of life. Learn how you can help promote Clean Air in Upstate South Carolina.
Check Out the Tip of the Week!
Pump gas in the evening. Waiting until after 6 pm to pump gasoline during the summer can help improve air quality as toxic gases are less likely to evaporate into the air in the evening than during the heat of the day.
For more tips, check out the Clean Air Upstate Tips page!
Air Quality Updates!
Upstate Making Great Strides, But Keeping Air Clean is Still Crucial
Since 2000, the ozone emission levels across the Upstate have improved at a tremendous rate. This has helped the Upstate region remain in attainment with the EPA Clean Air Act and thus avoid potential additional regulatory measures for individuals and businesses. That improvement is the result of great local, regional and state efforts, primarily voluntary, that have positively impacted air pollution in the Upstate.
While we are very pleased that the emission levels in the Upstate are at the lowest levels ever, it is important to still remember that according to the American Lung Association there are still more than 27,000 cases of Pediatric Asthma and 87,000 cases of Adult Asthma in the Upstate region.
With the tighter emission standards issued by EPA in 2015, the Upstate and other parts of the South are likely to see more ozone alert days in 2016 and beyond. As this occurs, it is important for all residents, especially those at greater risk, to understand what you can do to remain safe while still enjoying the outdoors in the Upstate. The Air Alert Chart on this web page outlines some of the measures to maintain safety.
It is also important to learn the Clean Air Tips and do what you can to help keep the air in the Upstate as clean as possible.
Air Quality Levels Impact Jobs and Economic Vitality
Through the EPA Clean Air Act, communities that have emission levels that are above the standards set as healthy by EPA can be subject to regulatory measures that can impact individuals and businesses.
Historically, the Upstate region has been right on the edge of attainment, but through great collaborative efforts over the last 15 years, for the first time ever, the region was within attainment standards when the newest EPA standards were announced in 2015.
However, because EPA continually monitors the standards and will likely continue to revise the standards at stricter levels over time, the Upstate must always continue to work collaboratively to ensure that our air remains as clean as possible.
If the region were deemed out of attainment, it would not only be a negative from a public health standpoint, but the stricter requirements for businesses looking to come to the region or expand current operations would likely stifle economic and job growth. It also would restrict how the region can use federal transportation funding and potentially force additional federal regulations on all residents within the region. This problem occurred in Birmingham, Alabama in the '90s. Learn more about how Alabama's business and economic growth was negatively impacted. Read an overview of what could happen if the Upstate is out of attainment.
We hope you and your business will continue to support Clean Air Upstate efforts as well as other local and state initiatives so the Upstate can remain a place where breathing clean air allows all residents to safely enjoy outdoor activities while we continue to be a national leader in growing our manufacturing economy.
Everyone Can Make a Difference
There are many factors that impact air quality in the Upstate. Some over which we have some control, and others over which we have little control. For the Upstate to ensure we maintain air quality levels that provide for our physical health and allow us to maintain economic vitality, the key is for all of us to support those actions over which we have control and that can make a difference. Below is a link to the regional air quality pledge as well as to a list of actions and strategies that can be done by Individuals, Businesses & Institutions and Local Governments to help ensure we are all doing our part to maintain clean air in the Upstate.
Clean Air Upstate Partners: