Protecting Public Health and the Environment.
Vehicle emissions are created from the incomplete combustion of gasoline or diesel. Other factors such as emission controls, engine design, and vehicle maintenance may affect vehicle emissions.
Vehicles emit many pollutants into the air, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and volatile organic compounds. These pollutants then combine to form secondary pollutants such as fine particulate matter and ozone. While emissions from an individual vehicle may be minimal compared to an industrial source, emissions from many vehicles on the road at one time can have a serious impact on air quality.
Pollutants emitted from vehicles can lead to poor visibility and health problems such as asthma and respiratory illness. Pollutants also can damage buildings and affect the quality of water resources.
Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set protective health-based standards for ozone and other pollutants in the air we breathe. Failure to meet the ozone and other standards over a period of time can result in an area being designated "nonattainment" by EPA. States strive to achieve attainment with the standards to assure that public health is protected, promote economic growth, avoid the potential loss of federal highway funding, and preclude the time and cost required to develop and implement plans to reattain attainment status. Learn more.
The most effective way to reduce emissions from your vehicle is to use it less.
All cars emit some pollutants; poorly maintained cars emit the most. A properly tuned car runs better, gets better gas mileage, and pollutes less.
The harder your engine works, the more gas it burns, and the more tailpipe emissions you create.
Hybrid vehicles use both a conventional gas-powered engine and an electric motor to power the vehicle. Intelligent power electronics decide when to use the motor or engine and when to store electricity in advanced batteries for future use. The electric motor is used primarily for low-speed cruising or to provide extra power for acceleration or hill climbing. When braking or coasting to a stop, the hybrid uses its electric motor as a generator to produce electricity, which is then stored in its battery pack.
Unlike all-electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles do not need to be plugged into an external source of electricity. The gasoline engine generates all the energy the hybrid vehicle needs. With the assistance of the electric motor, the gasoline engine can be smaller (and therefore less polluting). Hybrid vehicles can reduce air emissions of smog-forming pollutants by up to 90% and cut carbon dioxide emissions in half.
Vehicle I/M CoordinatorMichael HahnDEQ Boise Regional Office1445 N. Orchard St.Boise, ID 83706(208) firstname.lastname@example.org
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