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Statement: 2013 State of the Air Report

Ohio Environmental Council, April 24, 2013

OEC statement on American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2013 report

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2013 report highlights improvements and recommendations to improve our air quality.

Thanks to the Clean Air Act we have come a long way in air quality improvements. However, we must not be lulled into complacency; as medical research advances we know that tougher standards on sources of air pollution are critical to fully protect the public health. 

Last year Ohio experience more air quality alert days (“smog” days) than in several years’ past. Instead of wishing for cooler summers or relying on the federal government to solve our problems, the state of Ohio and individual cities should take matters into their own hands. 

Below are steps citizens, cities, and state government can take to improve our air quality, which will lesson trips to the emergency room for people sensitive to bad air elements (elderly, those with breathing problems, children, etc.)

Citizens can:

  • Reducing car idling.
  • Taking public transportation.
  • Keep their car in good working order.
  • Fill up after 6 p.m.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Use less electricity.
  • Don’t burn wood or trash.
  • Check the air quality forecast.
  • Stay informed on air quality related issues at the local, state, and federal level by signing up for OEC’s action alerts.

Local governments should:

  • Adopt no-idling ordinances.
  • Adopt clean construction provisions for public works contracts.
  • Start (or continue) educational programs to promote air quality awareness in the community.
  • Retrofit, repower, or replace older vehicles.
  • Adopt complete street policies.

State government should:

  • Adopt an “e-check” program for on road diesel trucks.
  • Reinvest in truck stop electrification.
  • Increase funding of the Diesel Emission Reduction Grant to $100 million a year for five years.
  • Adopt no-idling laws similar to the one adopted in Illinois.
  • Team up with metropolitan planning organizations and nonprofits to educate the public on ozone pollution prevention and steps to reduce resident’s exposure.
  • Adopt strong air regulations on fracking operations.
  • Invest heavily in non-highway modes of transportation (for example: rail).

Learn more about what you can do to clear the air.

Read the American Lung Association’s full report.