Why Is This Urgent?

It’s a bigger problem than you think.

In an area where people spend so much time outdoors, it’s hard to imagine that we have an air quality problem – especially since ground-level ozone is odorless and colorless. But there’s increasing evidence that humans are more affected by ozone pollution than previously thought. As a result, the U.S. EPA lowered the acceptable level of ozone on October 1, 2015.

On an average hot day, the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro is close to exceeding the new level. “Non-attainment” means that there is too much ground-level ozone in our air and the area is over the EPA limit.

Then what?

If our area goes over the ozone standard, several things would happen:

  • Stricter pollution controls that can create serious economic development consequences
  • Increased paperwork and reporting for business
  • More state oversight and control by the EPA
  • Possible limits to transportation improvements that get funded
Omaha's air on a

Omaha’s air on an “Unhealthy” AQI day in April, 2016.

We need to act now

If we all lower our own emissions voluntarily, then together, we can lower ground-level ozone and prevent the risk of our area going into non-attainment. It starts now.