Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Celebrates Clean Air Month as Wisconsin’s air quality continues to improve

CONTACT: Craig Czarnecki, 608-267-3137.

MADISON – Join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in celebrating Clean Air Month. Throughout the month of May, the department’s Air Program is highlighting ongoing air quality improvements across the state.

Clean Air Month is held annually each May. This year the Air Program offers a webpage for the public designed to provide information, activities and resources, all focused on reducing air emissions and improving air quality in Wisconsin.

The Air Program has worked on many projects this past year targeted at interacting with the public and ensuring businesses have better options available that provide quality interactions with the department. Those projects include:

  • The operation permit renewal backlog has decreased significantly in the last several months, while the construction permit issuance timelines have remained steady. The peer review process, implemented in 2017 continues to improve consistency and permit quality.
  • Compliance inspectors are utilizing a new, streamlined report format in a pilot project designed to improve consistency statewide and allow inspectors to be in the field more often.
  • The launch of the Air Program’s Wisconsin Air Monitoring Data Acquisition System (WAMDAS). The system includes a new air quality mapping tool for the public to get up-to-date air quality information, new air quality report options and specific monitor information. In association with the new WAMDAS system, the Air Program has also launched the WisconsinAQM mobile app for android devices (the Apple version will be available early this summer). The app, available now in the Google Play Store, allows the public to receive air quality updates from anywhere using their mobile device.
  • The launch of the department’s first e-Signature reporting option for facilities in Wisconsin. E-Signature gives facilities the option of reporting, submitting and signing Air Program compliance and monitoring reports electronically to DNR, removing the time-consuming mail-in option.
  • The 2018 Air Quality Trends Report, released in October 2018, again showed positive trends in air quality throughout the state in the past year. The Air Program’s Air Quality Monitoring Network collects information, program staff then draw that data from the year and produce an annual report for the public on air quality trends around the state. The Trends Report can be found at DNR.wi.gov search: trends report
  • The Air, Air Everywhere Poetry Contest made its annual return in March. The contest encourages third, fourth and fifth grade students across the state to learn about Wisconsin’s air quality and create poems about the air. Winners will be announced May 20.

“There are exciting projects being worked on in the Air Program, geared toward providing increased streamlining and transparency” said Gail Good, Air Program Director.

Good would also like the public to know that Bike to Work Week pedals off on May 13. To highlight the event, the Environmental Management Division will kick off the agency’s internal Commuter Challenge that same day. The 15-week event challenges division employees across the state to record their vehicle miles traveled (VMT) saved by taking alternative forms of transportation (biking, busing, carpooling, and walking) to work. “Not only are these great options for our air quality, but they help promote healthy lifestyles as well,” said Good.

To learn more about Clean Air Month and how to reduce air emissions, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for Clean Air Month,”or contact Craig Czarnecki at 608-267-3137.

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