Open Air

JULY 21, 2014

Central Ohio is experiencing cleaner air this year – the region saw zero ozone pollution days this June for the first time in a decade.

"Over the past 10 years, we averaged about three high ozone days in the month of June," said Evelyn Ebert, Air Quality Program Coordinator for MORPC. "Since Central Ohio is under nonattainment for ozone based on EPA air quality standards, it is significant for the region to achieve no exceedances of ozone as we work towards attainment."

In July 2012, the Central Ohio region was designated as a marginal nonattainment area by the US EPA under the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. This classification requires the region to work under a State Implementation Plan in coordination with Ohio EPA, and can impact the region’s ability to attract business investments and achieve continued growth. The region has three years to reach attainment under NAAQS. 

MORPC has administered Central Ohio’s year-round daily air quality forecasting program for the past 10 years in partnership with Sonoma Technologies, Inc., and issues Air Quality Alerts when ground-level ozone or particle pollution concentrations are expected to exceed safe levels on the national Air Quality Index. Ground-level ozone levels often ramp up in June when temperatures begin to climb and sunlight is more prevalent.

Emissions reductions from the mobile and power sectors have contributed to a decrease in ozone pollution levels over the past 10 years. MORPC addresses mobile pollution sources by promoting active and alternative transportation options through programs like RideSolutions.

The official ozone season lasts from April 1 to October 31. MORPC provides air quality monitoring and forecasting for Delaware, Knox, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking and Madison counties. To sign up to receive Air Quality Alerts delivered to your inbox, visit MORPC's Air Quality page.