The Colorado Springs area might violate federal standards for ozone this summer if pollution levels aren’t kept in check, which could lead to vehicle emissions testing and other regulatory measures.

The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments is encouraging residents to take simple steps to reduce ozone, especially on days when concentrations of the pollutant are predicted to be higher than normal.

Tips for improving air quality:

Skip car trips when possible by walking, biking or using public transportation.

Carpool instead of driving alone.

Run several errands in one trip. Limiting stops to 30 minutes or less can help your car run more efficiently.

Fill up gas tanks in the evening when the weather is cooler, and don’t try to refuel more after the nozzle clicks.

When driving, don’t sit idle for more than 30 seconds.

Make sure vehicles are well-tuned and the tires have enough pressure.

Consider purchasing an electric vehicle.

Mow the lawn after 5 p.m. on hot summer days and keep gas-powered lawn equipment well-maintained.

When purchasing cleaners, paints, and other household chemicals, choose products that are labeled as low in VOCs, or volatile organic compounds.

Stay informed on when ozone levels are expected to be high. Visit enviroflash.info to subscribe to air quality email alerts. The state offers a similar email subscription at colorado.gov/airquality/request_alerts.aspx.

Sources: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver-based Regional Air Quality Council.

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