Top 10 Takeaways from the Triangle’s 2012 Ozone Forecast Season Kick-Off

Research Triangle Region, N.C. – Triangle Air Awareness kicked off Ozone Forecast Season with it annual kick-off luncheon April 13 at IBM’s Recreation Center in the Research Triangle Park. The event drew a full house and record attendance, with more than 50 companies and organizations represented.

The public/private partnership effort of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Research Triangle Regional Partnership, hosts the event as part of its effort to educate the community and promote practices that improve air quality across the 13-county region.

Here are the top takeaways from the event, says program coordinator Elaine Loyack:

  1. IBM encourages alternative commuting. Learn more about IBMs environmental leadership commitment and why the Triangle is one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters.
  2. DENR reports that air quality in the Research Triangle Region has improved to now meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for ground-level ozone pollution.
  3. Mecklenberg County officials shared lessons learned from their community-based social marketing campaign to drive behavior change and improve energy efficiency. The effort was hugely successful and is attracting national attention. The Light’s Out Tool Kit offers everything needed for a workplace campaign.
  4. When considering behavioral change campaigns, Mecklenburg County officials say, “Make it personal, make it fun!”
  5. Jennifer Smith from Sharefile/Citrix shared four tips for social media success: deliver relevant content; develop meaningful relationships online, share pictures and links, don’t be a spammer.
  6. Raleigh, N.C. is a leader for plug-in electric vehicles, second only to California. Learn more from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  7. Advanced Energy reported that workplace charging is a new trend in the Triangle, which now has more than 20 charging stations.
  8. The Triangle population is 1.5 million. The average one-way commute is 16.2 miles. One of every seven workers in Wake County commutes daily to a job in Orange or Durham County. Driving electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and encourage cleaner, renewable energy.
  9. There are three types of electric vehicles: hybrid electric, such as the Toyota Prius; plug-in hybrid electric, such as the Chevy Volt; and all-electric, such as the Nissan LEAF.
  10. In the 13-county Research Triangle Region, cars and trucks are the No. 1 source of ozone-forming emissions.

Ozone forecast season runs April 1 through October 31. During that time, the N.C. Division of Air Quality publishes daily ozone forecasts to inform the community about the region’s air quality.

Regional residents can monitor ozone forecasts and get information on actions they can take to help improve regional air quality at the Triangle Air Awareness Web site,, or the N.C. Division of Air Quality Web site, To receive daily forecasts or alerts by e-mail, register

Triangle Air Awareness offers its Web site and a range of activities to help regional residents learn about and access information on ways to reduce air pollution. For more information, visit or contact Loyack at or             (919) 715-7647      .