Heat Wave Triggers Air Quality Alerts

During the NJ Summer 2022 eight day heatwave in July, heat advisories were posted by the National Weather Service as well as DEP air quality alerts and advisories for Middlesex County. An air quality alert means that air within the region may become unhealthy because of air pollution concentrations and sensitive groups could be effected including children, elderly and people with asthma, heart diseases or lung diseases. The air pollution forecast was for ground level ozone and fine particulates. These updates can be seen on the NJ Bureau of Air Monitoring and the air now.gov. The air quality advisory was also issued that the air pollution will approach or exceed unhealthy standards. The alerts advised sensitive group to avoid outdoor activity.

Heatwaves often trigger air quality alerts because the air becomes stagnant and traps pollutants like ozone that carry significant health risks. In Perth Amboy, heat combined with humidity sent temperatures into the feels like 104-111 degrees. At the same time, Middlesex County has entered into moderate drought conditions.

Urban areas are hotter because of more heat being created from hard, dry surfaces such as roofs, concert sidewalks, asphalt roads, buildings, and parking lots which provide less shade and moisture than natural landscapes and retain heat and contribute to higher temperatures. Urban areas also have heat from tools, cars and factories and warehouse ands more activity from people. The term “urban heat island” is a built-up area with temperatures that are higher than surrounding areas, and these areas have worse air and water quality than surrounding areas from more pollutants.

There are many recommendations for bringing down heat in urban areas and improving air quality and health. We can work to reduce our impact on urban areas. Planting more trees helps to cool down the city with shade. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide, a leading pollutant improving air quality. They also reduce the heat of the surrounding areas. Using lighter-colored materials and white reflective paints on buildings helps, too. Light colors reflect more sunlight and trap less heat. The use of cool building materials on roofs, streets and pavements is an important cooling strategy. A cool surface material has low heat conductivity, low heat capacity, high solar reflectance and high permeability. Another cooling strategy is green infrastructure including parks, street trees, community gardens, green roofs and vertical gardens. Another strategy is the use of water to cool down areas, like installing fountains, water parks, etc. All this could become part of Perth Amboy climate adaptation plans.

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Fireworks and Festival July 3rd

The City of Perth Amboy will present its Independence Day Festival and Fireworks along Sadowski Parkway on Sunday July 3rd. The Pre-Fireworks Festival will be held along Sadowski Parkway on the Historic Perth Amboy Waterfront from 3pm-10pm and will feature food vendors and artisan and souvenir vendors. The fireworks on Raritan Bay begin at 9:20pm, but arrive early to ensure a great view. The fireworks are launched from a barge on Raritan Bay and the best view in Perth Amboy will be from Sadowski Parkway on the waterfront. Fox Sports will be hosting the simulcast music for the fireworks. Tune in at 93.5 fm/1450am.

Roads will be closed to traffic at 6:00 pm. Roads that will be posted no parking are Sadowski Parkway (both sides) and Water Street (East Side) Lewis St. to the Raritan Bay Yacht Club, as well as Water St both Sides from High St to Lewis St.

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Perth Amboy Residents Concerned about Trucking

Perth Amboy residents have expressed concern on social media and at council meetings about their quality of life. One major issue has been trucking and the impact of trucking on residential streets and neighborhoods. Residents don’t want trucks on residential streets. They want truck routes created and enforced. Streets where there are no truck signs still have 18 wheelers rolling by no problem. Truck traffic produces a low quality of life for Perth Amboy residents and residents would greatly appreciate attention to correcting this issue.

The Perth Amboy City Council in 2022 has been working to increase fines for trucks violating local laws. The residents can present to the city a request for a monthly report on tickets for violations of truck routes. This may be one method to increase accountability for improving quality of life on this important issue to residents. Valuable trees have been taken down in neighborhoods from trucks. Air quality is poor, noise and unsightly conditions, impact to roads and dangerous driving conditions all from increased trucking and violations.

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Founded 2016 Perth Amboy, NJ