SUSTAINABLE SANDHILLS AND FAMPO

Sustainable Sandhills manages the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Air Quality Program (FAMPO) to improve and maintain our air quality for current and future generations in three of our reach counties.

FAMPO’s mission is to provide the safest and most efficient transportation options while protecting and enhancing the environment.

Learn more about FAMPO HERE.

THE VOLKSWAGEN SETTLEMENT
Your municipality or business may be eligible for funds from the Volkswagen Settlement to enhance transportation infrastructure designed to improve air quality in the Sandhills. Some Sandhills agencies, including the Fayetteville Area System of Transit, have already benefitted from the funds.
Learn more from the NC Department of Environmental Quality HERE.

CARE ABOUT OUR AIR?
BECOME AN AIR QUALITY STAKEHOLDER OR AMBASSADOR!
Serving the Fayetteville metropolitan area for over a decade, the Air Quality Stakeholders strive to improve and maintain air quality in the Sandhills. As a result of their initiatives, the Sandhills boasts some of the healthiest air quality in the state of North Carolina. The Air Quality Stakeholders are comprised of civic leaders, business leaders and concerned citizens with a common mission: to enhance the quality of life in the Sandhills through better air and better health. The Air Quality Stakeholders meet quarterly, and they participate in activities and promote programs that reduce emissions, improve pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure in the region, create awareness about electric vehicles and more.

Interested in becoming an Air Quality Stakeholder or Ambassador? Contact Air Quality Program Manager Kia Jones at kia@sustainablesandhills.org.


THE AIR QUALITY INDEX

Our air quality has significant impacts on our environment and our health. Although the Sandhills enjoys “good” air quality most of the year, the region occasionally experiences air quality action days, which can be of concern for individuals who are sensitive to air quality issues, such as people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Air quality action days can occur for various reasons such as the presence of smoke or particulate matter in the air. You can monitor your community’s Air Quality Index, a measure of the “health” of the air, for methods to protect yourself against the harmful effects of poor air quality.

Find your Air Quality Index (AQI) HERE.

SMOKE AND THE SANDHILLS

Smoke can often be present in the Sandhills. Our natural habitat is dependent on fire for its health, so agencies including the NC Forest Service and Fort Bragg conduct controlled burns to maintain our longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem. Though these agencies strive to reduce or eliminate the adverse air quality effects of controlled burns, some fires may impact air quality. Monitor your Air Quality Index to breathe easy!
Learn more about controlled burns and air quality impacts HERE.

 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Pound for pound, electric vehicles use less energy (and no gas!) than conventional vehicles, and with fewer emissions, they can improve our air quality.

Sustainable Sandhills partners with organizations such as Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Plug-In NC, Electrify America and other progressive agencies to create awareness about electric vehicle benefits and options and to advocate for improved electric vehicle infrastructure in North Carolina. Each year, we host the Sandhills Drive Electric car show, where curious car enthusiasts can meet local electric vehicle owners, test drive electric vehicle models and learn about the world of EV ownership from drivers, utility providers and more.
Learn more about Sandhills Drive Electric HERE.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE ADVISORY GROUP
The newly formed Sandhills Electric Vehicle Advisory Group is providing learning opportunities and community connections to those interested in electric vehicles. Our chapter is a diverse set of members who welcome those with all levels of electric vehicle knowledge. We would love to hear from you!
Take the survey on your EV driving habits HERE.

Interested in joining? Contact Kia Jones at kia@sustainablesandhills.org

 

AIR QUALITY IN SCHOOLS

CARBON BANKS
Sustainable Sandhills is committed to improving our air quality and conserving our urban forests so we have invested in carbon banks in partnership with Cumberland County Schools. We currently maintain three carbon banks at the Educational Resource Center in downtown Fayetteville, Sunnyside Elementary School and Gallberry Farm Elementary School.

The carbon banks have sequestered 15.4 tons of carbon dioxide so far, and they have served as living learning laboratories for local high school and university students. Students with the Academy of Green Technology at Douglas Byrd High School have even mapped the banks and calculated sequestration values using drone technology. 

Interested in learning more about the carbon banks? Contact Cumberland County Schools Go Green Initiative Coordinator Renee Jones at renee@sustainablesandhills.org.

AIR QUALITY FLAG PROGRAM
Several Cumberland County Schools are part of the Air Quality Flag Program, in which they raise a flag to indicate the daily Air Quality Index (AQI). The Air Quality Flag Program is a great learning opportunity for students and a means for our youth to have an active role in air quality monitoring and action plans. Is your school interested in participating in the program? Contact Air Quality Program Manager Kia Jones at kia@sustainablesandhills.org.

 

TEN SIMPLE STEPS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY

CHAIN YOUR TRIPS. Combine your errands into our trip to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Starting a cold engine pollutes up to five times more than starting a warm engine.

USE MASS TRANSIT OR CARPOOL. By sharing a ride, you can reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and even save money. The average driver spends 44 cents for each mile on the road – including fuel and maintenance costs.

RIDE YOUR BICYCLE. Cycling is a great way to travel and stay healthy!

TAKE LIFE IN STRIDE. Walking to your destination can improve air quality. Vehicles on the road create more than 25 percent of all air pollution nationwide.

CARE FOR YOUR CAR. By performing regular maintenance, changing your oil and maintaining proper tire pressure, you can reduce emissions. You can also improve your vehicle’s gas mileage, extend its life and increase its resale value.

FUEL WHEN IT’S COOL. Refuel in cooler periods of the day or in the evening to prevent gasoline fumes from heating and creating ozone.

DON’T TOP OFF YOUR TANK. Topping off your gasoline tank can release fumes into the air and negate the benefits of the pump’s pollution mitigation devices. Stop short of a full tank to improve air quality.

TELECOMMUTE. Work from home whenever it is possible.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Check the ozone forecast and Air Quality Index as you prepare for your day. The ozone forecast and AQI are available in most weather reports or at ncair.org.

SPREAD THE WORD. Tell your family members, friends and neighbors that they can care for our air with the Ten Simple Steps to Improve Air Quality.

 

AIR QUALITY RESOURCES

NC DEQ DIVISION OF AIR QUALITY

FAMPO AIR QUALITY PROGRAM

EPA AIR TOPICS

AIR QUALITY FROM CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL

ELECTRIC VEHICLE RESOURCES

PLUG-IN NC

FAYETTEVILLE PWC

ELECTRIFY AMERICA

NATIONAL DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK