MORPC’s Air Quality Awareness Program seeks to address our region’s air quality issues, and to inform and alert the public, local governments, businesses, organizations and individuals of the actions they can take to protect public health and reduce air pollution.
MORPC Responds to U.S. EPA Proposal to Strengthen Ozone Standards
On March 17, 2015, MORPC submitted comments in favor of U.S. EPA’s proposal to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone pollution. MORPC arrived at this position through a comprehensive stakeholder and public input process. Input was solicited from MORPC committees (Community Advisory Committee, Transportation Advisory Committee, Policy Roundtable, Energy and Air Quality Working Group, Executive Committee) and stakeholder groups in the region, and a press release was issued to invite public input for consideration. MORPC received 11 comments from individuals and agencies, ranging from business groups to environmental advocacy organizations, all of which supported a stronger standard. There was variation in the recommendations as to what level the strengthened standard should be.
MORPC Comment Letter - March 17, 2015
Be Air Aware - Sign up for Free Air Quality Alerts
MORPC monitors ground-level ozone and particle pollution levels, and issues daily air quality forecasts using the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI tells you how clean or polluted the air is, and the associated health effects. MORPC will issue an Air Quality Alert when AQI values are expected to reach above 100, meaning that air quality is considered to be unhealthy for sensitive groups of people, and then for everyone as AQI values get higher.
On Air Quality Alert days, sensitive groups including active children, older adults, and those with breathing or heart conditions can reduce their exposure by planning outdoor activities in the morning when ozone levels are generally lower. They can also avoid strenuous outdoor activities, such as running or working in the garden, during afternoon hours when ozone levels are generally higher.
- Sign up for Air Quality Alerts via email or text message
- Call the Air Quality hotline at 1-888-666-1009
- Follow MORPC on Facebook or Twitter
Protect Your Health and Improve Air Quality
Use MORPC's Take Five for Clean Air checklist for actions to protect public health and reduce air pollution. Local governments, businesses, organizations and individuals can choose from a menu of voluntary actions to implement on Air Quality Alert days and in daily practices. Commit to five actions and MORPC will recognize your local government, business, or organization on our website. Clean air is one component of a healthy, sustainable community. Check out GreenSpot for another regional commitment to help you meet broader sustainability goals.
Use Alternative Transportation
Motor vehicle emissions contribute to poor air quality in Central Ohio. Whenever possible, avoid driving alone and explore transportation options that will save money at the pump, provide healthy exercise, and reduce air pollution. It all adds up to cleaner air.
- Share a ride to work by contacting MORPC's RideSolutions at 888-742-RIDE.
- Take a COTA bus.
- Bike or walk to nearby destinations. The Central Ohio Greenways and Columbus Metro Bike Map provide information on suggested walking and biking routes.
- Use the CoGo bike share service.
- Use the car2go car share service.