News

Efforts Can Improve Air Quality during Summer Heat

June 22, 2016

Now that summer has officially arrived, it’s important for us to be aware of the air we breathe and do our part in improving the overall air quality in the region.

MORPC is the agency responsible for providing Central Ohio residents with year-round daily air quality forecasts and issuing Air Quality Alerts when ozone pollution is forecasted to exceed healthy levels. Poor air quality affects everyone; however children, older adults, and those with chronic respiratory diseases can be particularly sensitive to air pollutants.

The official ozone season in Central Ohio is from April 1 to October 31, with ground-level ozone levels often ramping up in summer months, when temperatures begin to climb and sunlight is more prevalent. In the past few years, we have seen a continued improvement in the state of air quality.

This year, MORPC has issued three air quality alerts – on April 18, May 25, and June 20. On these days, the region was forecasted to experience pollution at unhealthy levels.

Many partners in the Central Ohio community have already taken steps to be stewards of regional air quality. More than 25 local governments and businesses have pledged to Take Five for Clean Air, each committing to at least five air-friendly practices.

Your actions can make a difference in protecting public health and reducing air pollution. On Air Quality Alert days, MORPC recommends taking actions to improve air quality. When everyone pitches in, our residents breathe better air.

  • Travel by carpooling, combining trips, riding COTA, bicycling, or walking to nearby destinations. For more information contact MORPC RideSolutions at (888) 742-RIDE.
  • Turn off your engine instead of idling your vehicle to cut down on vehicle emissions.
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle, or wait until dusk to refuel your vehicle. Filling up your tank when the daytime heat has diminished helps to reduce harmful ground-level ozone pollution.
  • Avoid topping off your tank at the gas station. Spilled gasoline pollutes the air when it evaporates.
  • Avoid mowing your lawn on an Air Quality Alert day. Longer grass in your yard is good for the air, as well as the lawn. 

Visit http://airquality.morpc.org for more information about MORPC’s Air Quality Program and sign up to receive Air Quality Alert via email.