A recent survey conducted by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality showed more than 80 percent of the community is aware that most air pollution in the Pima County area is caused by motor vehicle use.
Beth Gorman, senior program manager of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, said the main focus of the survey is to increase awareness of air quality issues. It also tracks the behaviors of residents to see if improvements in air quality have been made.
The survey found that nearly 90 percent of those surveyed think it is important to have a regional campaign that encourages people to improve air quality.
“The big thing for people to know is that the majority of our air pollution is caused by (certain actions) we do everyday,” Gorman said.
The annual survey was conducted via telephone, and reached out to more than 500 households.The same questions are asked to each person surveyed, and similar questions are asked year-to-year to track the results and attitudes of the community.
People feel positively about the county's campaign, Gorman said. It is important to the community to have a regional effort to improve air quality, and improve education about the issue, she said.
There is more participation in community events that give people the opportunity to ride bikes, take the bus and carpool, Gorman said.
“We’re letting people know the kinds of things they can do to improve air quality,” Gorman said.
If people drive less, carpool, take the bus, or walk more, it will help improve air quality in the Tucson area, Gorman said. Also, reducing electricity use and keeping car tires properly inflated can have positive impacts as well.
Ashley Grove is a journalism student and intern for Arizona Public Media