Date

Monday, May 04, 2020

The Air District is announcing the start of the Spare the Air summer smog season on Monday, May 4, and encouraging employers to keep skies blue by extending teleworking options.

Spare the Air Status
No Wood Burning
Spare the Air Status
  • Thursday,
    6/4

    No Spare the Air Alert in Effect

With traffic levels at record lows during the shelter-in-place, air quality has been good throughout the region. While weather conditions have had a positive effect on air quality, major reductions in traffic, the top source of pollution in the Bay Area, have also been a significant factor.

These challenging times have demonstrated that teleworking can be a viable, flexible work option that benefits not only our air quality, but employers and employees as well. As Bay Area employers create plans to safely reopen their doors and continue operations once shelter-in-place orders are eased, the Air District urges them not to lose sight of the benefits that reducing traffic can bring - teleworking can be part of the solution to keeping our skies blue. 

There are estimates that traffic has been reduced by 70 percent or more in the region during the shelter-in-place. Based on a 70 percent reduction in traffic, the Air District estimates that fine particulates, or PM2.5, will be reduced by 20 percent, oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, will be reduced by 38 percent and carbon dioxide, or CO2 emissions, will be down by 26 percent.

Teleworking benefits include:

  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • Reduced commute time
  • Cost savings for employers and employees
  • Improved employee recruitment and retention
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Increased ability to effectively continue business as a part of a disaster recovery or emergency plan

The launch of the Spare the Air smog season coincides with the start of the 2020 Air Quality Awareness Week, a nationwide campaign to increase air quality awareness and inspire people to take steps to reduce their contribution to air pollution.

During the warmer weather months, Spare the Air Alerts are issued when smog, or ozone pollution, is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions. When a Spare the Air Alert is called, limit outdoor exercise in the late afternoon when ozone concentrations are highest.

Know when a Spare the Air Alert is in effect:

View press release.

Last Updated: 5/4/2020