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More people take action for cleaner air

Jul 01, 2013 | Read More News
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Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed think it is important to have a regional campaign that encourages people to improve air quality.
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In addition, 85 percent of those who are familiar with Pima County Clean Air campaign events have a favorable opinion of Clean Air Program activities.

Clean Air Household participation in a 2012-2013 Clean Air campaign sponsored event was the highest recorded, according to a recent telephone survey initiated by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) Clean Air Program.

PDEQ worked with FMR Associates to query over 500 households to help evaluate the effectiveness of the PDEQ Clean Air Program and track behaviors and attitudes related to air quality. The results of a telephone survey completed in early June also indicate that 81 percent of those who responded are aware that most of our air pollution comes from motor vehicles, which is up from 79 percent in 2011, the last time the survey was done.

Responses indicate that driving alone to work or school is less popular than carpooling, taking the bus, or telecommuting and that respondents’ commutes got shorter this year. In 2011, 71 percent of those responding drove alone to work or school and this year that figure dropped to 66 percent.

The average commute length in 2011 was 14.2 miles and in 2013 it was 11.4 miles. This is good news since decreasing single occupant vehicles and commute lengths have a beneficial impact on air pollution and traffic congestion.

“One of the most exciting results from this year’s survey was that 76 percent of people who participated in an event we sponsored have changed, or are considering changing, their behaviors to help improve air quality,” said Beth Gorman, PDEQ Clean Air Program Manager. “The last time we asked that question, only 57 percent were considering changing their ways. Individual actions on a daily basis are critical in maintaining healthy air quality throughout our community and it is great to hear that our program is encouraging positive changes.”

For the full survey results, click here.