Home News Air Quality Alert Issued for Thursday, June 20, in Central Ohio

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

A photo from the 11 Floor Of nationwide Children's in Columbus Ohio looking North. Photo from Sciotopost

COLUMBUS, OH, June 19, 2024 — The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has issued an Air Quality Alert for Thursday, June 20, due to expected unhealthy levels of air pollution for sensitive groups in Central Ohio. The alert affects Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, and Licking counties, where ground-level ozone pollution is anticipated to reach an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 101, categorized as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

A slightly drier air mass will enter the region, reducing thunderstorm development. Calm to light winds and mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-90s will enhance ozone formation, leading to the unhealthy AQI levels.

The AQI scale, used by MORPC, ranges from 0-500, with higher values indicating greater health concerns. Levels above 100 are considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, prompting MORPC to issue alerts to the public.

Active children, the elderly, and individuals with asthma and COPD are more likely to experience increased symptoms during an Air Quality Alert. Sensitive groups are advised to limit prolonged outdoor activities or schedule them for the morning. Those experiencing breathing difficulties should consult their doctor. For more information on the health effects of ozone pollution, visit the U.S. EPA’s AirNow website.

Residents can sign up for free Air Quality Alert notifications via email by visiting www.morpc.org/airquality.

On Air Quality Alert days, MORPC recommends the following actions to help improve air quality:

  • Turn off engines instead of idling vehicles to reduce emissions.
  • Avoid refueling vehicles during the day; refuel at dusk when the heat has subsided to minimize ozone pollution.
  • Avoid topping off the gas tank, as spilled gasoline evaporates and pollutes the air.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn equipment; longer grass is better for air and water quality.

Additionally, starting Wednesday, June 19, Columbus Recreation and Parks will open cooling centers at five regional community centers to help residents cope with the extreme heat. More information is available at: https://columbusrecparks.com/wellness/keep-cool-with-us/.

For transportation options and to explore commute alternatives, visit https://morpc.gohio.com/ or contact MORPC at 1.888.742.RIDE (7433).

When everyone pitches in, our communities breathe better air.