- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—Bay Area air quality officials have called for the first Spare the Air Day of summer Tuesday, saying extremely warm weather will make for high levels of harmful air pollution.

It’s the first day this season that ozone levels around the region are expected to exceed federal air standards, said Tom Flanagan, a spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which includes most of Sonoma County.

The National Weather Service is calling for hot temperatures around the region through Thursday, with highs around Sonoma County expected to reach the upper 90s — and warmer inland — at least through Wednesday.

Hot, stagnant days can trap ground-level ozone, permitting smog to reach unhealthy concentrations that can be reduced through energy-saving measures.

All residents are asked to cut back on driving and take steps to reduce greenhouse gases, including refraining from using gas-powered mowers or leaf blowers, avoiding charcoal and lighter fuel when grilling food and using less electrical power overall. Residents also asked to not use aerosol products.

Those who suffer from respiratory ailments or heart conditions, as well as the very young and elderly, are advised to avoid vigorous outdoor activity after early morning hours.

The Bay Area air district takes in most of Sonoma County, including Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma and Sebastopol. It also includes unincorporated parts of Sonoma County roughly bounded on the west by Occidental and on the north by Windsor.

The Spare the Air season runs from April to October, when conditions for high levels of smog are more likely to be present.

Last year, there were 10 Spare the Air Days in the Bay Area.

More information is available at www.sparetheair.org.

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or [email protected] On Twitter @MaryCallahanB.


(c)2015 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)

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