The ozone layer miles above the earth’s surface protects humans from solar ultraviolet radiation, but ground level ozone damages lung tissue.
“We are trying to limit the amount of ground-level ozone created, and the best way to achieve that goal is to reduce the number vehicles on the road. It’s that simple,” said spokesperson Jennifer Kalczuk.
Kalczuk said total cost of the Ozone Action! day free ride program is $68,288. Of that amount, 80 percent, or $54,630, of the cost is federally funded and 20 percent, or $13,658, is covered by a state match.
An Ozone Action Day is declared when state weather forecasters predict that weather conditions will be conducive to the formation of ozone, the primary ingredient in urban smog.