Southern Quebec chokes on smog for the fourth straight day – Worried about air pollution

You should be. Smog kills…
SAINT-LEON-DE-STANDON, QC, Nov. 7 /CNW Telbec/ – The Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA) is asking the people of Quebec to take action. The health of the population of southern Quebec is being harmed by a fourth consecutive day of very poor air quality.
According to health authorities, air pollution kills approximately 2,500 people a year in Quebec. Unfortunately, we are in many respects responsible for our suffering and the victims of our own actions.
These recent episodes of air pollution are unusual for this time of year, and are caused primarily by automobile emissions. Because of current meteorological conditions – stable and low cloud cover, combined with high humidity and very weak winds – airborne pollutants are not being dispersed. As a result, the marked decrease in air quality is mostly due to pollutants that are emitted locally.
The cause of the problem lies largely with the state of vehicles in Quebec. The province is one of the last regions in North America that allows cars not equipped with anti-pollution systems to remain on the road. There are no mandatory emissions inspections, and, as a result, vehicles that emit excessive amounts of pollution continue to be tolerated.
We can create change!
In order to reduce pollution resulting from the use of automobiles, we must increase use of public transit, car-pooling and car sharing.
But we can do better, and we can do it quickly. Through the AQLPA’s Faites de l’air! program, cars from 1995 or earlier – cars that emit more air pollution – can be exchanged for six months’ worth of transit passes for use in the Montreal or Quebec metropolitan regions, or for $300. Since 2003, the program has allowed more than 2,000 Quebecers to make a significant contribution to bettering the environment by getting rid of a highly polluting vehicle.
AQLPA president André Bélisle is asking the people of Quebec to take up the challenge of fighting air pollution. “We invite all owners whose vehicles were built in 1995 or earlier to respond to the current air quality situation, and to take concrete action to reduce air pollution by registering for AQLPA’s Faites de l’air! program,” he said.
AQLPA invites everyone to make a difference and to be a part of the solution, with the assistance of the following Quebec transit authorities: the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) in Quebec City, Montreal’s STM, the STL in Laval, Longueuil’s RTL, the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) and the Intermunicipal Transit Boards, as well as Environment Canada, Quebec’s Ministères du Développement Durable de l’Environnement et des Parcs (Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks) and Transports Québec.
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/For further information: André Bélisle, (418) 642-1322, (418) 386-6992;
To register: Lorraine Lachapelle, 1-888-819-7330, (418) 642-1384,
www.aqlpa.com/

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