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John Daley Reporting... Yesterday we had record high temperatures around the state -- and that heat can lead to serious air pollution.
In the winter our big air quality problem is particulate matter -- small particles in the air. In the summer the trouble is summer smog -- or ozone.
Ozone is caused in part by air pollution coming from cars and other internal combustion engines. It's an odorless, colorless gas that is formed by a mixture of oxides, nitrogen and volatile organic carbons that react in the atmosphere with sunlight and heat.
It is unhealthy to breath in too much ozone.
Last summer was a long and hot one. On several occasions on the Wasatch Front the air quality did exceed -- but did not violate -- federal standards.
Yesterday, the air quality came very close to violating the standard. By federal law requires the state take measures to try to reduce it.
State regulators are urging residents to take steps to carpool, reduce their driving and to fill up their gas tanks only in the morning or evening.
To reduce ozone the state is promoting a new program designed to teach residents they can "choose clean air."
Cheryl Heying/Division of Air Quality: "DRIVING SMARTER, IF YOU HAVE TO DO ERRANDS, STACK THEM. IF YOU CAN, CARPOOL. PARK YOUR CAR WHEN YOU GET TO WORK, EXERCISE OUTDOORS NEARBY, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS."
If the state does violate air quality standards it can face federal penalties. And with a long, hot summer ahead regulators are urging people to find ways to reduce pollution.