Achieving Clean Air for a Livable Community The Hon. Robert E. Aufuldish, Commissioner, Lake County June 10, 2005
Air Pollution – A Regional Problem • Northeast Ohio has failed to attain the federal health standards for clean air. • Ozone – 8 counties in nonattainment. • Fine particulates – 7 counties in nonattainment.
Ozone Nonattainment • Ashtabula • Cuyahoga • Geauga • Lake • Lorain • Medina • Portage • Summit
Fine Particulate Nonattainment • Ashtabula (partial) • Cuyahoga • Lake • Lorain • Medina • Portage • Summit
What is Ozone? • Ozone (O3) is a colorless gas made of three oxygen molecules. • Ground-level ozone is created when sunlight generates a reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). • It appears as summertime smog.
What is Fine Particulate Matter? • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a mixture of gases, water vapor, and particles, each measuring less than 2.5 microns in width, or less than 1/20th of a human hair. • PM2.5 is emitted directly into the air in the form of dust, ash, and carbon, or formed in the air from sulfates and nitrates. • It is visible as haze.
Stationary Sources Mobile Sources Where Does Air Pollution Come From?
Stationary Sources • Electrical generating units • Industrial boilers • Factories • Steel and metals plants • Cement and asphalt plants • Chemical manufacturing • Processes involving coatings or degreasers
Mobile Sources • Cars • Trucks & Buses • Trains • Airplanes • Commercial ships and pleasure boats • Off-road vehicles: heavy construction equipment
Ozone - Who Is At Risk? • People with asthma or other respiratory diseases. This often includes the elderly. • Active children who spend large parts of the summer playing outdoors. Childhood asthma can be aggravated by ozone exposure. • Active adults of all ages who exercise or work vigorously outdoors. • People with unusual susceptibility to ozone.
Health Effects of Ozone • Irritation the respiratory system – coughing and throat irritation • Reduction of lung function – making it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously • Aggravation of asthma and allergies • Damage to the cells that line the lungs • Aggravation of chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis. Impairment of the immune system, making it difficult to handle bacterial infections in the respiratory system
PM 2.5 - Who Is At Risk? • People with heart or lung diseases, such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). • Older adults, who may have undiagnosed heart or lung disease or diabetes. When particle levels are high, older adults are more likely to be hospitalized, and some may die of aggravated heart or lung disease. • Children because their lungs are still developing, they are highly active, and they are more likely to have asthma or acute respiratory diseases.
Aggravated asthma Increases in respiratory symptoms like coughing and difficult or painful breathing Chronic bronchitis Decreased lung function Premature death Reduced visibility (haze) Damage to stone and other materials Making lakes and streams acidic Changing the nutrient balance in coastal waters and large river basins Depleting the nutrients in soil Damaging sensitive forests and farm crops Affecting the diversity of ecosystems Health & Environmental Effects of PM2.5
How Soon Do We Have to Achieve Clean Air? Two overlapping timelines
Ozone • Recommendations are sought by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency by January 2006 • State Implementation Plan is due from OEPA to USEPA by June 2007 • Attainment of clean air must be demonstrated by June 2010
Fine Particulates • Recommendations are sought by OEPA by October 2006 • State Implementation Plan is due from OEPA to the United States EPA by April 2008 • Attainment of clean air must be demonstrated by April 2010
How Will We Get There? NOACA’s Process
NOACA • Creation of the Air Quality Technical Subcommittee – transportation, transit, and local air agency representation • Creation of the Air Quality Public Advisory Task Force – government, academic, public health, and stakeholder representation
Goals for the NOACA Subcommittee and Task Force • Develop an understanding of Northeast Ohio’s air quality issues • Serve as a forum for public discussion of Northeast Ohio’s air quality challenge • Review and evaluate alternative controls • Make recommendations to the NOACA Governing Board
Why Should We All Participate? • Clean air means good health • Clean air means good quality of life • Clean air means an economic advantage for Northeast Ohio • Draw businesses to the area by avoiding sanctions, such as air pollution offset requirements for new businesses • Avoid loss of federal highway funds
Follow The Process and Participate! www.noaca.org/sipplan.html