Ozone season, outdoor burning ban starts now

Ozone season begins today, and county officials are reminding Shelby County resi- dents to observe the suggested strategies for helping minimize the release of ozone into the air.

According to the Alabama Partnership for Clean Air, ozone is at its worst May I to Sept. 30.

The Partnership, a group of government, education and environmental leaders, has developed a list of the actions citizens can take.

Among the few legal restrictions imposed during ozone season is a county-wide ban on outdoor burnicg.

Residents arc also encouraged to con-serve fuel by carpooling or using public transportation.

Fueling of automobiles and outdoor gasoline-powered equipment used for mowing the lawn and other activities is suggested only after 6 p.m.

The Birmingham metro area, which includes Shelby County, is a marginal non- attainment area, which indicates that the area does not meet minimum federal air quality standards.

The county’s non-attainment status ha pers economic development with certain industrial restrictions for new industries locating in the area.

In addition, high ozone levels have a negative impact on respiratory health, officials say.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management issues daily ozone forecasts to the public, which is encouraged to visit either the APCA veb- site at www.alabamacleanair,com or the ADEM website at www.adem.state.al.us