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Springfield Prepares for New EPA Pollution Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release new, tighter air quality standards Wednesday for ozone. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports on the possible impact this will have on Southwest Missouri.

Communities across the country will have to evaluate whether they meet new EPA standards related to a pollutant called ozone. When the EPA releases those new standards, some say Springfield will find itself with ozone levels that are above what's considered safe for public health.

Tiffany Campbell is an Environmental Engineer with the Air Program for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

She explains how ground level ozone is created.

Campbell says ozone has a cumulative effect on breathing.

Once the new ozone standards are released, communities will have to comply.

Doug Neidigh is Air Quality Control Coordinator for the Springfield Greene County Health Department. He says a community group is looking at ways to help people understand what they can do to improve air quality.

The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance will issue a report next January that will include recommendations for improving air quality for individuals, businesses and municipalities. Neidigh says the emphasis will be on voluntary measures.

But state officials say addressing the problem now is a step in the right direction. Tiffany Campbell with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Starting in April, the Ozarks Clean Air Alliance will begin a campaign to raise public awareness about air quality. We've got a link to information on the alliance and what you can do to reduce ground level ozone at our website ksmu dot org.