It’s not New York if there’s isn’t a blanket of smog that accompanies the sunrise. According to research from the American Lung Association, New York is the tenth smoggiest city in the U.S. While there has been a significant reduction in particle pollutants, there is still a lot of work to get the overall smog – also known as ozone pollution – levels down. Judging by the ever-increasing bumper-to-bumper traffic, it’s going to require government, corporates and households to work together to make a dent in traffic smog.
Diesel Engines Take A Step Back
The pressure to reduce particle pollution has seen New York score an A across all counties. This means that there was a significant drop in the use of diesel engines. The grueling process to bring into effect the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2006 has now been finalized after years of concessions and delays. State-owned vehicles are already 97% compliant, and those who are considered to take the legislation the hardest are contractors in the building and construction industries. While it’s not financially viable to replace an entire fleet, there are retrofitting and modification standards that can bring them within the legal emission limits.
Older Cars Might Be At Risk Of Higher-Than-Normal Hydrocarbon Emissions
A well-maintained car can provide its owner with many happy years behind the wheel. However, older cars were not made to the emissions specifications that manufacturers need to adhere to today. This makes it doubly important for owners to make regular checks. Oil on spark plugs can indicate that the valves are worn out, which can cause higher than normal carbon emissions. When owners are outside the legal parameters, they can face steep fines or the State can refuse to renew their car registration. While this may seem like a lot of work, the importance of reducing ground-level smog is important, as particle pollution can damage the lungs, cause eye irritation, and lead to a range of other health problems. This might not be easy regulation to enforce, but consistent checks and inspections will soon uproot cars that don’t comply with regulations.
The Uptake Of Healthier Alternatives To Driving
Road infrastructure is set to receive a $1.7 billion boost as bicycle lanes and more pedestrian space is earmarked for the bustling city. Over 250 cycle lanes are scheduled to be added to the roads over the next 10 years, which should see far less traffic on the roads. Not only will this place significantly less pressure on traffic which plagues the city center, but it will also promote the overall health and well-being of its inhabitants as they’re encouraged to pursue cycling as an alternative to driving. For New Yorkers, this will hopefully cut down on the commute time for those who have no choice but to use cars or buses.
New York may not be considered the poster child for the fight against smog, but a concerted effort has seen the state (and city) reduce its particle pollution. For inhabitants, it’s important that the overall pollution ozone reduces in order for the quality of air to improve. A happy byproduct is reduced traffic thanks to driving alternatives.