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Clean air action day announced for Jan. 28

January 28, 2009 By Dennis Chaptman

As Dane County gears up for a Clean Air Action Day on Wednesday, Jan. 28, UW–Madison is taking an active role to help safeguard local air quality.

To help reduce the levels of fine particulates in the air, the university takes a number of actions, such as avoiding travel or encouraging people to use mass transit, if possible.

This winter, the definition of Clean Air Action Days was expanded to include days when high levels of fine particle pollution are expected. Previous Clean Air Actions Days were called largely in the summer months to combat high ozone levels.

Clean Air Action Days provide an opportunity to promote awareness of a number of existing campus programs which encourage use of more environmentally friendly means of transportation.

For example, all UW–Madison faculty, staff and students are eligible for passes that allow them free, unlimited bus rides throughout the year. The university also provides a park-and-ride program, car and van pools, a free on-campus bus, flex parking, a bicycle program and a partnership with Community Car for a car-sharing program.

The university is a founding partner in the Dane County Clean Air Coalition, which called the alert. The coalition is a group of government agencies, businesses and citizens working to voluntarily reduce air pollution and keep Dane County in compliance with state and federal air quality standards.

According to the coalition, individuals can also help reduce fine particle pollution by reducing travel, conserving energy and delaying open burning and the use of wood-buring boilers and fireplaces.