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TCNJ receives awards for taking steps to improve air quality

TCNJ’s development of a comprehensive transportation plan to reduce emissions associated with commuting and transportation has earned the college a 2017 Air Quality Partnership Excellence Award. The partnership, a program of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, educates the public about the dangerous effects of ground-level ozone and provides air quality forecasts to the public.

“We are grateful to DVRPC for recognizing TCNJ’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Brian Potter, associate professor of political science and co-chair of TCNJ’s Presidents’ Climate Commitment Committee. “In an ongoing effort, the TCNJ community works together to create and implement cost-efficient ways to reduce carbon emission and other air pollution.”

The release of carbon emissions, particulate matter, and ozone pose health risks for everyone. Policies and programs from public institutions and the private sector can help.

TCNJ’s initiatives include promoting alternative means of getting to and from campus, developing a rideshare phone app, installing electric car charging stations, mapping links to regional bicycle and pedestrian trails, providing bicycle facilities, and implementing distance learning and telecommuting options. A bike rental program will begin next semester.

The other honorees were the South Jersey Port Corporation (Camden), the Pottstown (PA) School District, The Suburban Transportation Network (Blue Bell, PA), and The University of Pennsylvania.

Air Quality Awareness Week runs from May 1 to May 5 and it marks the start the AQP’s ozone season, which runs through September. As ozone season approaches, clean air programming like these awardees becomes even more critical for our region’s health and well-being.

“Businesses, nonprofits, local governments, and individuals all play important roles in reducing air pollution by cutting waste, conserving energy, and making wise transportation choices,” said DVRPC’s Executive Director, Barry Seymour. “Cooperation between people and organizations that care about the air we breathe presents our greatest opportunity to ensure cleaner air for our region.”

Luke Sacks