The new District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (MWAQC) announced that the Metropolitan Washington Area has experienced an estimated 44% decline in the number of unhealthy air quality days from ground-level ozone pollution. This reduction is considerable as compared to several years ago. The decline was determined through data analysis estimates performed by the MWAQC.
Acting Director of DDOE Elizabeth Berry said, "DDOE has worked hard to influence the measurable decline in the number of air pollution days, but we are not out of the woods yet. We are working with the regional partners to achieve the federal Clean Air Act mandated standards for ground-level ozone by 2009. We still need to do more."
DDOE is a major contributor to the overall regional pollution reduction efforts and attributes the air quality improvements to their work with:
- Drafting regulation and standards for the District's vehicular emissions testing program;
- Requiring additional controls on industrial and institutional pollution sources (boilers, heating plants, and electric power generating plants);
- Implementing regulation for controlling pollution from small sources such as consumer products (personal care products), portable gas cans, paints and painting operations, and auto refinishing products;
- Adopting low emission vehicle standards for reducing pollution from automobiles; and
- Enforcing anti-idling regulation to reduce diesel fume pollution.