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County health officials worry winter lawn prep could lead to more air pollution

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. A global health commission organized by the prestigious British medical journal Lancet recommended in a report published Monday, June 22, 2015, substituting cleaner energy worldwide for coal will reduce air pollution and give Earth a better chance at avoiding dangerous climate change. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

PHOENIX — People are getting their winter lawns ready and Maricopa County officials are worried about the pollution that that might cause.

Many people switch from Bermuda to rye grass for the winter.

“The process known as overseeding impacts air pollution. That’s due to the dust generated when scalping the existing Bermuda grass or the summer grass,” said Bob Huhn, a communications supervisor for the Maricopa County Air Quality Department.

Huhn has some tips that will cut pollution.

“Avoid scalping on windy and high pollution advisory days,” Huhn said. “Reduce the area to be overseeded, and don’t overdry the area prior to scalping, because that will create more dust.

“What we ask folks to do is to apply more water to moisten the area prior to scalping to keep the dust down.”

Huhn also said that raking the grass by hand after it has been scalped will also help to cut down on air pollution.