Air Quality Alert Issued for Thursday, June 20, for Central Ohio

Air Pollution Levels Expected to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is issuing an Air Quality Alert for tomorrow, Thursday, June 20. The region – Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, and Licking counties – is likely to experience ground-level ozone pollution levels that are Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on the national Air Quality Index (AQI) scale. Tomorrow’s AQI is forecasted to be 101.

A slightly drier air mass will enter Central Ohio, suppressing thunderstorm development. In addition, calm to light winds will hinder dispersion, and mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-90s will enhance ozone development. As a result, AQI levels will be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

MORPC uses the national AQI scale to inform the public about daily ozone and particle pollution levels in Central Ohio. The AQI scale runs from 0-500 – the higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern. When levels reach above 100, air quality is considered Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, and MORPC issues an Air Quality Alert to the public.

Active children, the elderly, and people with asthma and COPD are more likely to suffer an increase in the number and severity of symptoms during an Air Quality Alert. To decrease the potential for health issues, sensitive groups are urged to limit prolonged outdoor activity or plan outdoor activities for the morning. Those who are experiencing breathing difficulties should consult their doctor. More information on the health effects of ozone pollution is available from the U.S. EPA at AirNow.

The public can receive free Air Quality Alert notifications directly by email or sign up by visiting

On Air Quality Alert days, MORPC recommends taking actions to improve air quality. Most of the ozone pollution created in Central Ohio comes from cars and trucks. Information about transportation options can be found online at or contact MORPC at 1.888.742.RIDE (7433) for more information. When everyone pitches in, our communities breathe better air.

  • Explore your commute options with Gohio Commute:
  • 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 or using other gas-powered lawn equipment on an Air Quality Alert Day. Longer grass in your yard is good for the air and water quality.

Beginning Wednesday, June 19, until the extreme weather subsides, Columbus Recreation and Parks will open cooling centers at five regional community centers to give residents a place to cool off during this week’s extreme heat. Find out more at:

Visit for more information about MORPC’s Air Quality Program.


Press Room Information

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Níel Jurist

Sr. Director of Communications & Engagement

Melissa Rapp

Public Information Manager

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