Miami Valley Air

The Miami Valley Air Quality Program was developed as a public education/behavior modification program in an effort to inform Dayton/Springfield residents about air pollution issues and how their behavior can impact not only the region's air quality, but also traffic congestion.

Our current regional air quality is

Tomorrow's forecast is

MiamiValleyAir.org provides you with basic air quality and air pollution information for Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Clark Counties in Ohio. 

For an interactive map of today's forecast in your area visit airnow.gov or click here

What is air pollution and how does it affect me?

Air pollution is a combination of ground-level ozone and particle pollution and bad for your health!
There are two types of ozone:

  • “Good” ozone, known as the “ozone layer,” protects the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When you hear about scientists working to save the ozone layer, it’s because it provides this much-needed protection. 
  • “Bad” ozone, commonly known as smog, is at ground-level in many urban areas.

On hot, sunny days when there is little or no wind, pollutants from vehicle emissions collect in a stagnant air mass and react in the strong sunlight to form ground-level ozone. Other gasoline-powered items, such as lawnmowers, chainsaws and weed whackers, add to the problem. Ground-level ozone is a colorless, odorless gas produced when emissions from gasoline-powered engines mix with bright sunlight. When inhaled, ground-level ozone can inflame your lungs making it difficult to breathe.  It can cause coughing, throat irritation, congestion, chest pains and aggravate asthma or breathing problems.

Another element in air pollution is particle pollution:

  • Particle pollution consists of the solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air.  Individually, these particles/droplets are invisible to the naked eye, but collectively, they can appear as clouds or a fog-like haze.

Particle pollution comes from many different sources including wood burning, diesel and gasoline-powered engines, factories and power plants. This tiny matter, less than 2.5 microns in diameter, is also known as PM 2.5, and can get deep into people's lungs.  When inhaled, particle pollution can damage lung tissue, aggravate asthma, bronchitis and heart diseases - even cause premature death. Asthma is a lung disease. It can be life threatening. Asthma is a growing threat to children and adults. Children make up 25 percent of the population and comprise 40 percent of the asthma cases. Because children's respiratory systems are still developing, they are more susceptible than adults to environmental threats. For asthmatics having an attack, the pathways of the lungs become so narrow that breathing becomes akin to sucking a thick milk shake through a straw.

 

What is an "Air Pollution Advisory?"

The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) monitors the air in the Miami Valley.  If and when air pollution levels are forecasted to be high, an "Air Pollution Advisory" will be issued by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) in conjunction with RAPCA.

These notices will be issued by 3:30 p.m. the day before air pollution levels are forecasted to be elevated. Remember also, unlike ground-level ozone, particle pollution does not need sunlight to form and can reach unhealthy level at any time during the year. Consider this - colder temperatures result in more wood burning which increases particle pollution. Therefore, an "Air Pollution Advisory" may be issued at any time during the year.
 

What actions can I take to help reduce air pollution?

  • Try carpooling/vanpooling to work or college. Fewer vehicles on the road mean less air pollution. Call the Miami Valley RIDESHARE Program at (937) 223-SAVE or 1-800-743-SAVE to register for a free match list of potential carpoolers/vanpoolers. Check out www.miamivalleyrideshare.org  and sign up online.
  • Try riding the bus.  A full bus means fewer vehicles on the road causing air pollution. Visit the following websites For more information Greater Dayton RTA, Greene CATS Public Transit, Miami County Transit, Springfield City Area Transit
  • Get your vehicle tuned up. A tuned engine produces lower emissions, runs more efficiently, and makes your car last longer.
  •  Mow your lawn and use other gasoline-powered equipment only after 8:00 p.m., when temperatures are cooler and smog is less likely to form. Or, try using battery-powered lawn equipment instead.
  •  When filling up at the gasoline station, don’t top-off your tank. Try to refuel after 8:00 p.m. when smog is less likely to form. Plus, make sure your gasoline cap fits tightly so vapors don’t escape. A leaking or missing gas cap can cost you almost $50 a year in lost gasoline through evaporation. While you’re losing gasoline, the emissions add to the air pollution problem.
  • Avoid letting your car idle. For example, turn off the engine while waiting at drive-thru windows. Better yet, park and go inside. During the winter months, there’s really no need to idle to warm up your engine.  The best way to warm it, is to drive it.
  • If you have more than one car, use the newest one most often. Newer cars tend to produce fewer emissions.
  • Avoid jackrabbit accelerations when driving. You'll produce fewer emissions and be a safer driver too.
  • Plan ahead and combine errands and trips so you can limit cold starts. Delay running errands until evening when it’s cooler and smog is less likely to form.
  • Walk or ride a bike for short trips. You'll get the double benefit of doing something that's good for the air and for your health.
  • Eliminate ALL outdoor burning - do not burn leaves, wood or trash.  Mulch or compost leaves/yard waste.
  • Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use. Consider retrofitting wood stoves with a filter or use gas logs instead of wood.
  • Consider high efficiency/HEPA filters for your indoor heating/air conditioning systems.   Reduce the amount of indoor air pollution to alleviate breathing problems.

Air Quality Partners working to protect our air.

The Miami Valley Region is required by the federal Clean Air Act to have a plan to keep the air clean. One part of the plan calls for residents to take action to reduce air pollution. Many local industries are already doing their part by upgrading their facilities, but everyone's help is needed to achieve clean air. There are several agencies working in the Miami Valley and all of Southwest Ohio to try to protect our air. Members of the Miami Valley Air Quality Program included the following:
 The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC)
(937)223-6323 www.mvrpc.org

The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA)
(937) 225-4435  www.rapca.org

The Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee (CCSTCC)
(937) 521-2128 www.clarktcc.com

The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (GDRTA)
(937)425-8300 www.i-riderta.org 

Greene CATS Public Transit
(937) 562-6466 www.co.greene.oh.us 

Miami County Transit
(937)440-5900 www.co.miami.oh.us

 The Springfield City Area Transit (SCAT) 
937-328-SCAT(7228) www.scatrideline.com