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Springfield and Greene County Prepare for Tighter Air Quality Standards

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/springfiel_928.mp3

Springfield's efforts to monitor and improve ground level ozone will become increasingly important as federal standards on air quality are expected to tighten next year. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The air quality index today is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive individuals like older adults, anyone with lung disease like asthma and children and adults who plan to engage in rigorous activities outside.

To help reduce ground level ozone and the associated health effects, you're encouraged to carpool, conserve energy, reduce the number of trips you make in your car, and re-fuel your car or truck in the evening when the fuel is less likely to evaporate.

Springfield's efforts to monitor and improve ground level ozone will become increasingly important as federal standards on air quality are expected to tighten next year.

Doug Neidigh is Air Quality Control Coordinator with the Springfield Greene County Health Department.

Communities that are determined to be at non-attainment levels have to produce action plans for improving air quality. Action plans might include things like more stringent regulations on industrial facilities and vehicle emission checks.

Neidigh says he hopes that Southwest Missouri won't need to take such measures.

The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance will launch a new website in a couple of weeks that will educate residents on how to reduce ground level ozone and improve air quality. Neidigh says it's important to take those steps on days like today when we have higher-than-normal ground level ozone...but he says even on days when the air quality index is good, residents should continue to do what they can to reduce air pollution.