Ozone Season Begins in Central Ohio

March 2, 2017

Spring is just around the corner and along with the warmer weather comes ozone season. March 1 marks the beginning of ozone season.

MORPC is part of a network of agencies across the country that issues daily air quality forecasts and notifies the public when ozone and particle pollution levels are considered to be unhealthy for sensitive groups of people. Ozone and particle air pollutants are the two main threats to residents in Central Ohio.

MORPC staff use the national Air Quality Index (AQI) scale to inform the public about daily ozone and particle pollution levels. The AQI scale runs from 0 to 300 — the higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern. When levels reach above 100, MORPC staff alert the public of the unhealthy air quality. When an alert is given it is essential for sensitive groups, such as people with respiratory and heart disease, children, and older adults to limit prolonged outdoor exertion. You can reduce your exposure to air pollution by planning strenuous outdoor activities for the evening or morning, when pollution levels are generally lower.

“MORPC is proud to provide the region with daily air quality forecasts and issues Air Quality Alerts as needed, allowing Central Ohioans to take action to protect their health and limit their individual contributions to ozone pollution,” said Evelyn Ebert, MORPC’s Air Quality Program Supervisor.  “By signing up to receive Air Quality Alerts now, Central Ohio residents can be sure to receive this information in a convenient format as temperatures begin to rise.”

Reducing your emissions can contribute to a cleaner and healthier Central Ohio and there are several ways that you can make a difference. You can carpool, take the bus, refuel after dark and avoid using gas powered lawn equipment on Air Quality Alert days. MORPC RideSolutions staff is also happy to help you find ways to get you to work that do not require driving alone.

You can also sign-up online to receive Air Quality Alert email notifications at: or call MORPC’s toll-free air quality hotline at 1-888-666-1009 to listen to the latest forecast to help plan your day accordingly.