CLEVELAND (Tuesday, March 20, 2018) – Spring is officially here and brings (eventually!) warmer weather when flowers bloom, trees leaf out, and birds sing. Unfortunately, ozone season is also upon us.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) tracks and reports on the quality of the air in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit counties for six pollutants: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. These are the pollutants for which the federal Clean Air Act requires the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The NAAQS are the maximum allowable concentrations for each pollutant, and they are intended to protect people from adverse health impacts caused by excessive concentrations of pollution.
“Air quality has improved significantly in Northeast Ohio in recent years,” said NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci. “But as U.S. EPA continues to strengthen the NAAQS to protect public and environmental health, portions of our region remain in nonattainment for one or more of them.”
NOACA’s latest Air Quality Trends Report
summarizes the most current data on air quality in Northeast Ohio and shows that the region remains in nonattainment for two of the six NAAQS (particulate matter and sulfur dioxide). The report also discusses the link between transportation and air quality; climate change; and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“Transportation is the primary driver of the region’s air quality issues,” said Gallucci. “On-road vehicles continue to generate most of the emissions of these pollutants, and the two pollutants most closely linked to mobile emissions—ozone and fine particulate matter—have declined by a smaller margin than the other pollutants. So that tells us that transportation infrastructure and mode choice are intricately linked to the region’s air quality.”
NOACA believes the most effective means of improving air quality is for all citizens to meet their transportation needs with a variety of modes, other than relying solely on car use. So, how can you help improve Northeast Ohio’s air quality?
- Get out of the car! NOACA can help you plan your trips by alternative modes of transportation and match you with potential carpool partners through its Gohio Commute logging tool.
- Avoid unnecessary fuel consumption.
- Walk, bike, use public transportation or drive fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Combine errands to reduce fuel use and save time.
- Avoid idling your vehicle excessively. Turn off the key and be idle-free!
- Keep your car, boat and other vehicles properly tuned.
Additionally, NOACA encourages those in Northeast Ohio to:
- Avoid using leaf blowers and other dust-producing equipment.
- Reduce energy consumption by turning off your lights and appliances when not in use.
- Avoid opening burning. Smoke from burning leaves, brush, other vegetation and backyard trash contains a number of hazardous air pollutants.
In addition to publishing Air Quality Trends Reports, NOACA issues Air Quality Advisories when air quality levels are predicted to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, the elderly and those with breathing difficulties. People who would like to receive them can sign up to receive the Air Quality Advisories
* * *
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is a transportation and environmental planning agency that represents state, county, city, village, and township officials in Greater Cleveland. NOACA addresses the transportation, air quality, and water quality needs of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. The agency and its partners cooperatively develop and implement plans to ensure that travel throughout the region is safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound. NOACA’s vision is to STRENGTHEN regional cohesion, PRESERVE existing infrastructure, and BUILD a sustainable multimodal transportation system to SUPPORT economic development and ENHANCE quality of life in Northeast Ohio. To learn more about NOACA, visit www.noaca.org
Media Contact: Jocelynn Clemings, Communications and Public Engagement Manager,