MORPC Report Shows Air Quality Improved in 2017

December 13, 2017

In its recently released Air Quality Monitoring End of Season Report for Central Ohio, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) reported good news this year for Central Ohio residents, especially those with respiratory conditions.

The report, which provides a summary for November 2016 through October 2017 and compares it to the last two years, found that during 2016-17, there were only two days where air pollution levels reached the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. The dominant pollutant was ozone on both days. There were no Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Air Quality Index (AQI) days for particle pollution. This is a record low number of days per year with pollution levels unhealthy for sensitive groups under the current air quality standards. In 2014-15, there were five and in 2015-16, there were 10.

MORPC issues daily air quality forecasts and notifies the public when ozone and particle pollution (PM2.5) levels are considered to be unhealthy for sensitive groups of people.  From March through October, ground-level ozone levels peak when warm temperatures and sunlight, mixed with pollutants, enhance the formation of ozone. This can create unhealthy levels of air pollution triggering Air Quality Alerts.

Air Quality image

MORPC member community initiatives are key in continuing to improve air quality for Central Ohio. The city of Hilliard installed quick electric vehicle (EV) charging stations free for the public during a 5-year pilot through 2020. This investment helps residents adopt EV’s and leads to less ozone and particle pollution creating emissions.

The city of Columbus is working with Whitehall, Bexley, Grandview Heights and New Albany on a project to connect traffic signals across the city and at the borders between the regions.  The improved signal timing means shorter travel times and less air pollution forming emissions from vehicles idling at traffic lights.

Click here to view the report.

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