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What is the Spare the Air program?

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Quick Answer

The Spare the Air program is an educational program of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District of the San Francisco Bay Area to raise awareness of the effects of summer and winter air pollution and provide information on ways individuals can reduce pollution and protect themselves from it. The program includes air quality alerts to Spare the Air days, an employer program and community resource teams. Some public transportation agencies have offered free transportation on Spare the Air Days.

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Full Answer

The Air District issues Spare the Air Day alerts via email, radio and television during the summer when air pollution levels are predicted to be above the EPA's federal health-based standards. On these days, the agency encourages people to take public transportation to work, telecommute or carpool and discourages the use of gas-powered tools. They encourage people to exercise in the morning and for the elderly and people with certain health conditions to stay indoors.

During the winter, the Air District prohibits the use of wood-burning devices and issues Spare the Air alerts when particulate emissions become trapped in stagnant air masses.

The Spare the Air website provides information about air pollution, the risks of air pollution and ways to reduce air pollution. The site also features a two-day forecast of the area's pollution and an animated map showing the movement of air pollution through the Bay Area on a given day.

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